Marcus Rashford’s penalty was the difference between the two sides at the Riverside Stadium to seal back-to-win 1-0 victories after a win by the same scoreline against Austria earlier last week.
The win should have been doubled by Jordan Henderson but the Liverpool captain saw his penalty saved by goalkeeper Florin Nita.
After the match, Gareth Southgate admitted his side need to improve ahead of the tournament.
“I don’t think we were as good as we want to be, or that we need to be,” he told Sky Sports. “In the first half we used the ball reasonably well, our best moments were coming down the left, we needed to get the ball from right to left more urgently.
“We were a bit slow moving the ball, and in the final third we didn’t quite select the right pass or ran into traffic when we had a chance to create clearer opportunities.
“We didn’t do enough without the ball in the first half, especially our pressing from the front. That meant we were stretched, and we have to learn from that. We’ll play against better teams who will carve us apart; Romania created more opportunities than we would have liked, and gave our goalkeeper a nice debut in that he had a bit more to do than we wanted to see.”
There was also controversy regarding Henderson’s missed penalty as he went against the spot-kick pecking order to steal the ball away from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who had also won the penalty.
However, Rashford’s successful penalty wasn’t exactly straightforward in its execution either.
Yes, the Manchester United forward calmly placed the ball past Nita but fans have since noticed the rather odd ankle technique.
An image of Rashford’s hyperextended ankle is going viral – and it looks rather grim. While it’s natural for players to open up the ankle joint while sidefooting the ball, many fans believe Rashford’s example is a bit extreme.
And if you think that image is photoshopped, check out the footage:
Check out the reaction on social media:
However, some claim that this is just normal technique for anyone sidefooting the ball:
It’s similar to the technique asked by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi when taking his free-kick. Instead, the Argentine puts his entire weight on his standing ankle, which twists on the ground.
One man who has studied the science behind it is Dr. Rajpal Brar. He joined Squawka’s podcast to discuss the free-kick technique of the Argentine legend.
“When Messi strikes the ball, he shifts his hip to the right. He really moves his hips to the right as he’s striking to open up his left strike leg,” the doctor said.
“And what that does on his plant leg is that it shifts all the weight to the outside of the foot. So then when he follows through and he’s striking the ball – that left leg coming from left to right – now everything is going onto the outside of his ankle almost like what happens when you sprain your ankle.
“We call it ‘inversion sprain’ when it twists inwards – it’s that same force. You have all that force on the outside of your ankle and it twists inwards. But in Messi’s case, he’s trained himself and his body to control that motion.”
Normal for professional footballers but if a mere mortal attempted it, we’d end up in A&E!