Round 11 – results, scorers, standings and highlights
- Unirea Urziceni – Gaz Metan Medias 0-1 (Todea 90)
Interesting tactical battle between two defensive squads, built to counter, but as I was expecting, Unirea starts to lose all the points, with their focus on defending the initial draw in every game, no matter the opponent’s name. All credit must go to Gaz Metan’s excellent coach Cristi Pustai (I know, I’m repeating myself), who pushed for the win with all his changes and the instructions for a positive and brave approach. The discrete performance from the Brazilian Eric, who’s refusing to extend his deal and, sooner or later, he’ll refuse to play at the same level, which would be a shame, was compensated by another solid performance from the two central midfielders, Hoban and Todea, with the captain bringing the third away win of the season for a really tough team to beat.
- Rapid – Astra Ploiesti 3-0 (Cassio 34, 36, Spadacio 42)
The break didn’t affect the most solid and spectacular team in the league and Rapid dominated with authority against a difficult opponent, who lost its first match under Tibor Selymes. Cassio Vargas added his third brace of the season, but must share an eventual bonus with his team-mates, having the chance to play in a team that brings the ball in the box with pace, skill and flair, through the excellent work of the central pair Spadacio – used deeper than usual – and Lazar, as well as the quality service provided by the wide men.
- FC Vaslui – CFR Cluj 5-3 (Sanmartean 27, Adailton 35, 58, Burdujan 63, 87 / De Zerbi 59, Bastos 88, E. Dica 89)
Open game, as expected, and a first win for FC Vaslui’s new coach, Viorel Hizo, who inherited a quality roster from the departed Lopez Caro and surprised a bit with the offensive approach. With 5 men left behind and 5 allowed to attack, Vaslui took advantage of some quality finishing (Adailton scored his second brace of the season), as well as the terrible performance of Nuno Claro, putting a lot of pressure on CFR’s Sorin Cartu, who’s still struggling to inject confidence in a solid looking team and find the right balance. The defense was all over the place, the midfield badly misses the injured Gabriel Muresan, while in attack Lacina Traore continues to make people wonder if he’s indeed the real deal. “The only thing I haven’t tried yet, in order to make everyone realize we need to turn things around, is to beat the crap out of some of the players“, said the angered owner, Arpad Paszkany.
- FCM Targu Mures – Poli Timisoara 2-3 (Stere 2, L. Munteanu 27 / Zicu 19, 81, Chiacu 51)
Poli’s the only undefeated team in the top flight and it’s all down to attitude! It’s an excellent quality, of course, but surely it’s also to blame for the fact that Poli often starts playing after it’s one or two goals down. The big change from the Petrovic days is Contra’s ability to make the same players turn draws into wins and the Viola outfit is now on a four matches long winning streak. Some credit must go to the talented Ianis Zicu, who added a second consecutive brace, after he turned around by himself what seemed a lost game against Rapid, two rounds ago.
- Pandurii Targu Jiu – Sportul Studentesc 1-0 (I. Iordache 67)
Petre Grigoras starts with a vital win his adventure in Targu Jiu, leaping over Sportul in the standings, after an ugly game - a trademark for Pandurii. Worrying times for Sportul, though, who can rely on some quality players upfront, but its’ defense way too often ruins what happens at the other end. Eight defeats in eleven matches means that the black and white outfit has big chances of a quick return to the second division.
- Otelul Galati – Gloria Bistrita 2-1 (Antal 67, Viglianti 84 pen / Ribeiro Moraes 19 pen)
What more do we need to consider Otelul a title contender, after an outstanding result , two rounds ago, against Dinamo, and another proof of character, against Gloria Bistrita? Dorinel Munteanu’s men turned around what seemed a lost match after only 20 minutes, when the solid Cristian Sarghi was sent off and Ribeiro Moraes scored from the spot his fifth goal of the season. “Munti” says it’s all down to some excellent fitness training, but I guess there’s a bit a tactical work involved there, too…
- Dinamo – Steaua 2-1 (Adrian Cristea 31, M. Niculae 35 / B. Stancu 23)
Good looking derby for just 45 minutes, but what we’ve seen after the break had little in common with football. Dinamo decided not to offer anything in return for the two gifts made by Apostol (hand-ball) and Tatarusanu (poorly timed rushing out), which cancelled the opening goal from the excellent Bogdan Stancu, and killed the game. Their terrible defense somehow resisted until the end (it was only the third game of the season in which Dinamo didn’t let in at least two goals – they’re yet to keep a clean sheet!), in spite of Steaua’s more organized approach and the guts showed by Lacatus, who was flexible enough to finish the game with both Bilasco and Kapetanos on the pitch. Ball possession was 63% to 37% for the visitiors, who had 16 shots at goal, sent 17 good crosses and played 51 balls inside the opposition’s box, with Dinamo capable to collect only half of the mentioned numbers.
- Universitatea Cluj – Victoria Branesti 2-3 (Machado 12, 35 / B. Oprea 43, Olariu 55 pen, Nicoara 75)
Excellent comeback from Victoria in a contest between two newly promoted teams and the once good looking Universitatea have gone now with four matches without a win. Nice double for the young Brazilian striker Gabriel Machado, who had found little space until now, and last season’s goalscorer in the second flight went close to a deserved equalizer in the dying moments of the game. Encouraging win for Ilie Stan’s men who were humiliated by Rapid, three rounds ago, but that remains the only defeat in the last six outings!
- FC Brasov – Universitatea Craiova 0-3 (Oros 43 og, Dina 65, D. Stoica 90)
If there’s a team whose fans love to dream, that Universitatea Craiova. The magic is still there, after Victor Piturca’s appointment, and the Blue Lions added a third consecutive win on a tough ground. They scored 10 goals in the last three matches and are ready to welcome back their star player, Florin Costea, who is ready to make a first official appearance after a seven months long lay-off.
Round 12 (22-25th of October): Victoria Branesti – FC Brasov, Poli Timisoara – Universitatea Cluj, Gloria Bistrita – Dinamo, Gaz Metan Medias – Otelul Galati, Astra Ploiesti – FCM Targu Mures, Universitatea Craiova – FC Vaslui, Sportul Studentesc – Rapid, CFR Cluj – Unirea Urziceni, Steaua – Pandurii Targu Jiu.