Red-hot reception awaits Euro U-21 semi-final between Romania, Germany, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Red-hot reception awaits Euro U-21 semi-final between Romania, Germany

Surprise packages Romania take on holders Germany in the European Under-21 Championship semi-final tomorrow morning (Singapore time) in a heated atmosphere on and off the pitch in Italy.

A scorching 41 deg C is forecast in the northern Italian city of Bologna when the match kicks off in the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

Romania technical director Mihai Stoichita fears it will be "too hot" for the players and has urged European football governing body Uefa to push back the time of the match, local media reported.

Four-time winners Spain and France line out in the second semi-final in Reggio Emilia - 74km north-west of Bologna - where forecasts for kick-off are around 32 deg C.

The Romanians have been the revelation of the biennial tournament finishing top of their group ahead of France, who advanced as the best second-placed team at the expense of hosts Italy.


Some 10,000 Romanian fans have been following the team as they booked their first semi-final berth after a goalless draw against France on Monday, ensuring a return to the Olympic Games next year for the first time since 1964.

The match in Cesena ended with clashes as Italy missed out as a result, with the girlfriend of Romania international Cristian Manea, hospitalised and receiving stitches to her lip amid the skirmishes.

Romania's stand-out player has been Ianis Hagi, scorer of two goals in the tournament and the 20-year-old son of national idol and former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Gheorghe Hagi.

Germany have in-form Freiburg forward Luca Waldschmidt, 23, scorer of five goals in three matches, and Augsburg's Marco Richter, 21, with three goals and two decisive passes.

France also have a big task in hand as they take on last year's runners-up Spain, who are looking to match Italy's record of five European titles.- AFP