BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – A late equalizer from Stanislav Dragun earned Belarus a 2-2 draw with Romania in their 2012 European Championship qualifier in Group D on Friday after striker Adrian Mutu had scored twice for the home side.
A pass from Gabriel Torje allowed Mutu to open the scoring in the 18th minute, with Sergei Kornilenko equalizing for Belarus in the 45th minute after a mistake by defender Cosmin Moti.
Mutu restored Romania's lead when he converted a penalty after being fouled by defender Belarus Dmitri Verkhovtsov in the 50th minute, only for Dragun to score Belarus' second in the 83rd.
Romania was impressive in attack, but its defense was vulnerable and Belarus took advantage.
The draw, coupled with Bosnia-Herzegovina's win over Luxembourg, ended Romania's slim hopes of finishing second in Group D and reaching the playoffs.
Mutu and Gabriel Tamas were told by coach Victor Piturca in August that they were banned from the Romania team for life after they went out he drinking before an exhibition against San Marino.
However, the pair apologized in September and Piturca forgave them and recalled them to the team.
''My goals are a small consolation. It would have nicer to win, but we were not good enough in defense,'' said Mutu after the match. ''We hope to win in the future. Instead of crying and pulling out our hair, we should pull up our socks.''
The match was played at Bucharest's new National Arena stadium, and watched by 30,000 spectators, some of whom were given free tickets.
Romania: Costel Pantilimon, Alexandru Matel, Gabriel Tamas, Cosmin Moti, Razvan Rat, Gabriel Torje, Costin Lazar (Razvan Cocis, 70), Alexandru Bourceanu, Lucian Sanmartean (Adrian Cristea, 28), Ciprian Marica (Bogdan Stancu, 81), Adrian Mutu.
Belarus: Yuri Zhevnov, Aleksandr Kulchiy, Stanislav Dragun, Sergei Kislyak, Dmitri Verkhovtsov, Sergei Omelyanchuk, Sergei Kornilenko, Maksim Bardachev (Oleg Veretilo, 90 ), Sergei Krivets (Filip Rudzik, 59), Egor Filipenko (Pavel Plaskonny 19), Pavel Nekhaychik.