Round 13 – results, scorers, standings and highlights
- FC Vaslui – Victoria Branesti 1-0 (Canu 64)
Third consecutive win under Viorel Hizo, who’s as famous not just for his good starts, but also for the way his team loses something along the way. Victoria put up a fight, as always, and it was a nice game to watch, with a good rhythm and some dangerous counters, leading to chances at both ends. Currently struggling in the relegation zone, Ilie Stan’s men will be a handful for most of the teams and that 1-7 defeat suffered in Giulesti was just an accident. I expect this 100% Romanian team to climb towards a more safer zone and all credit should go to a young coach who has done an excellent job in organizing the play so far.
- Dinamo -Gaz Metan Medias 3-2 (Alexe 16, Andrei Cristea 70 pen, Scarlatache 73 / Litu 22, Trtovac 35)
It was a disgrace and it was the second in a row, after the too easy away win recorded last round, in Bistrita. Still, Dinamo’s board is trying to make sure that the team will stay in the race until the very end, pulling the strings used one season after another, turning to their friendly clubs and referees to win games and stop the other contenders to do the same. The match against Gaz Metan was turned around by the referee, who helped the hosts to lay siege in the second half and also invented a penalty, but the win was booed by Dinamo’s fans who still have some dignity. (Interesting stat: Litu’s goal was the first of the season scored by one of Gaz Metan’s forwards!)
- Otelul Galati – CFR Cluj 1-1 (Iorga 58 / Peralta 90)
Interesting tactical battle on the leader’s home ground, with the champions playing – for the first time this season – like champions. Otelul stayed back, fought for every ball, but was dominated by the guests, even if they’ve had Lacina Traore sent off early in the first half. A nice goal scored by Iorga was cancelled in the last minute by Peralta’s header, when CFR had also lost Rafael Bastos after a second red card. A display of strength and an expected change of attitude among Cartu’s men showed that CFR needs to be kept under control, which Dinamo is trying to do from a distance. Just for the record, CFR will be playing against Dinamo next weekend, without two of their best players…
- FCM Targu Mures – Sportul Studentesc 4-1 (Tarnavean 16, Vasilache 52, Cordos 55, Stere 89 / Patrascu 58)
Sportul is sinking without trace and Targu Mures took three extremely important points in the relegation battle. Sabau is the kind of coach who knows that the defense is not just the key to winning trophies and punished a team that always tries to play attacking football. Two things are granted: Targu Mures won’t score four goals in a match again this season and Viorel Moldovan won’t get his revenge, as he decided to resign, at the end of the game.
- Gloria Bistrita– Steaua 1-0 (Ribeiro Moraes 6 pen)
With Lacatus forced to shuffle his cards from one game to another, it was no surprise to see, at one point, unconvincing performances from eleven players with different levels of match fitness and an obvious lack of understanding on the pitch. An otherwise open and interesting match was decided from the spot, but proved once again that a player of Ribeiro Moraes’ quality can make the difference in this league. If his brother, Bruno Moraes, will finally start to look a bit sharper, Gloria will have an attacking duo that will do a lot of damage in the coming matches. But I expect the two Brazilians to be separated very soon…
- FC Brasov – Poli Timisoara 0-0
Dull match, with the guests waiting in vain for Zicu’s creative spark. When he’s firing blanks, Timisoara becomes again just a solid team, lacking that extra something which turns draws into wins. Still, with 13 rounds gone, the Viola outfit remains the only undefeated team in the league, but, in spite of this good run, I expect to see Contra replaced by a more experienced coach very soon.
- Universitatea Cluj – Astra Ploiesti 1-0 (Bostina 44 pen)
Tight game, with Astra looking uglier with every round, lacking a gameplan and the quality players who could create something that looks like football at least on their own. The Brazilian forward Gabriel Machado stopped scoring (had three goals in the last two outings), but still proved decisive, as he was the one to get the penalty, after a mistimed intervention from the former Unirea Urziceni reserve keeper, Catalin Grigore. Machado should be missed this weekend, as he was sent off with 20 minutes to go, falling for some dirty tricks attempted by the experienced Czech centre-back, Radek Oprsal.
- Unirea Urziceni – Universitatea Craiova 1-2 (Todoran 34 / Gargorov 51 pen, Dina 80)
As I anticipated, Unirea will struggle this season, unless Tavi Grigore comes with gameplan that involves more than sitting back and defending with 10 men. It didn’t work even if his team managed to score first, but credit must go to Universitatea for its’ relentless offensive work. In spite of the poor form shown by the manager’s son, who’s leading the line, hard working creative midfielders like Gargorov and the reinvented Wobay, plus the vision of Piturca’s favorite player – the anchorman Dorel Stoica – ensure that a lot of quality, dangerous balls reach the opposition’s penalty area every game. Chapeau for the man who had started a project with Steaua in the summer and is now making Universitatea’s crazy fans dream once again!
- Rapid – Pandurii Targu Jiu 1-1 (Cassio Vargas 8 / Voiculet 18)
Round 13 ended with a big surprise and an even bigger scandal, after Pandurii were denied two perfectly regular goals! Sumudica’s men played without the same enthusiasm and failed to get closer to the league’s leaders, while Petre Grigoras confirmed that he’s one of the few Romanian coaches who can teach attacking football even to the league’s ugliest teams. He’ll have a lot of work to do though, as Pandurii’s situation in the standings demand results, not beautiful football.