Romania vs. Crotia

SITE: Stade Lescure, Bordeaux

TIME: 7:30 a.m. TV: ESPN, Channel 34. RADIO: KWKW (1330, Spanish).

* ABOUT ROMANIA: Won in Group G with two victories--over England and Colombia--and a tie against Tunisia. Over the years its level of play has improved enough for many of its players to have been wooed by prestigious European clubs.

* ABOUT CROATIA: Making a splash in its first World Cup appearance. Second in Group H after victories over fellow first-timers Jamaica and Japan and a 1-0 loss to group-winner Argentina. Forward Goran Vlaovic is questionable because of a knee injury.


* OUTLOOK: Romania plays with two strikers, Adrian Ilie and Viorel Moldovan, and midfielder Gabriel Popescu also supports the attack. Its team unity is reflected in its mass hair dying to a Dennis Rodman-like blond. Croatian striker Davor Suker, well marked by Argentina in Croatia’s final first-round game, leads Croatia with two goals. Croatia has been boasting that it stopped Argentina’s Gabriel Batistuta and Ariel Ortega in its previous game, but Argentina had nothing at stake in that match.