Romania wrapped up their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying schedule with a 3-1 win over an outclassed Faroe Islands side.
With neither side having anything left to play for in Group 7, the hosts dominated throughout and took the lead in the 16th minute through Iulian Apostol's first goal for his country. Gheorghe Bucur's header midway through the second half doubled Romania's advantage.
Egil Bo gave the home fans a few jitters seven minutes from time, scoring with what proved to be the visitors' only effort on goal all night, but substitute Ionut Mazilu restored the two-goal advantage two minutes from time, ensuring an unhappy campaign at least ended on a winning note. Romania finished second-bottom of their group - with only the Faroes below them.
In truth, the match should never have been so close, with Romania creating a string of chances they failed to convert. The chances of big win looked good when Romania took the lead so early in the game, with the 28-year-old Apostol opening his international account with a strike from just inside the area after being set up by Bucur.
Stuttgart striker Ciprian Marica then missed a pair of decent openings, the second coming just before the half-hour mark when he struck from just inside the area but was denied by a fine save from Jakup Mikkelsen.
Romania continued to push forward but lacked a cutting edge in the final third and were forced to wait until the 65th minute to get their second. Marica was the provider, his cross finding the head of Bucur for a simple finish.
Moments later, Bucur might have had another but for the hands of Mikkelsen. The Faroe Islands then scored against the run of play, with Bo firing in a free-kick that beat the otherwise untested Costel Pantilimon.
However, Romania had a quick response, created by two substitutes. Andrei Cristea refused to give up on a ball that seemed to be going out for a throw-in on the left, the Dinamo Bucharest man going on to beat two defenders before seeing his shot saved by Mikkelsen.
The ball fell for Mazilu to strike home, a cruel blow for the 39-year-old Mikkelsen, who deserved better on the night that he donned his gloves for the final time at international level.