DUESSELDORF, Germany : Romania’s impressive start to Euro 2024 has raised expectations but the team are hungry for another win and can match any side, defender Radu Dragusin said, as they brace for battle with Belgium on Saturday.

Romania can advance to the knockout stage with a game to spare if they beat the Belgians in Cologne, owing to an unexpected 3-0 rout of Ukraine on Monday that marked their first win in a European Championship in 24 years.

“The players they have and the teams they play for are of the highest calibre,” Dragusin, a centre back for English side Tottenham Hotspur, said of Belgium.

“But we played several times with teams that were superior on paper and the result was favourable to us. Tomorrow we will go with the same mentality, great confidence, and we want to show that on the field.”

Belgium have sought to convey they are unruffled by their shock 1-0 opening defeat by Slovakia, though fans might be jittery about the possibility of a second successive exit from a big contest after their ‘Golden Generation’ slipped up at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Slovakia were beaten 2-1 by Ukraine on Friday in their second group match.

Romania coach Edward Iordanescu has described his side as the generation of the soul after their stunning start.

The team are underdogs after just one win in their previous 16 European Championship games before arriving in Germany. But they put themselves firmly on the radar against Ukraine and Dragusin, 22, said the team wanted much more from the tournament.

“I’m not fulfilled, I’ll always want more, to help my country,” he said.

“We have very good morale. The victory against Ukraine was a special moment for all of us, we felt indescribable emotion. We hope to bring that to the pitch tomorrow night, and at the end of the game we will enjoy it.”

“I hope it will be the same enthusiasm, the same energy, the same passion,” he added.


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