- FIFA agent Victor Becali has planned a trip to Bulgaria, in order to talk with CSKA’s board and release Daniel Pancu of his current deal. Pancu had moved to Sofia during the winter break, following Ioan Andone, but, in spite of some decent performances, fell out of favor with the new coach, with the angry fans and didn’t get paid in the last couple of months, so he decided to leave the club. Currently training (which isn’t ok, is it?) with Rapid, Pancu stated that he would agree a return to Rapid, after solving an old conflict with the club’s owner, George Copos. A good move for Rapid if all goes well, as this is also a step made by Copos to keep coach Ioan Andone at the club at least for another season.
- The dismissal of Italian coach Nicolo Napoli was followed by a similar episode to the one that made Dinamo keep the headlines in the past week. Four players (all bought this winter, at Napoli’s demand) refused to make the trip to Ceahlaul, for a game that could be vital for Astra’s future in the Liga I. Marcelo Mendez, Diego Silva, Danilo Carando and Gonzalo Salgueiro are now on the black list and could have the same faith as Alejandro Kruchowsky and Maximiliano Arias, the two defenders who were already released, after a string of poor performances.
- Ceahlaul – Gaz Metan Medias 0-0
Zoran Filipovic adds a second point in as many games since taking over the bottom placed in the league, but this was one of those matches that Ceahlaul needed to win in order to put some pressure on the other teams threatened by relegation. The home team failed to create chances even when Medias had to play with 10 men, after Kubala’s dismissal, in spite of Barcauan‘s debut, who was used as a centre-forward, seven years after he was reinvented as a centre-back!
- Astra Ploiesti – Politehnica Iasi 1-1 (L. Ganea 77 / V. Negru 80)
Tight game, in which Astra played slightly better and has enough reasons to feel disappointed, as Politehnica scored on its first clear cut chance through an otherwise uninspired Negru, three minutes after Ganea found the net once again – a tap in from close range, following a flick-on from Radek Oprsal. The match confirmed that the defender Marcelo Mendez is the only player from South America brought this winter that, at this point, offers some guarantees, with Kurchovski and Diego Silva once again disappointing and all the other sitting on the bench until the final whistle… Impressive performance from Vlad Bujor, in Poli’s team, a young forward loaned from CFR Cluj, who shows a lot of potential and definitely deserves attention in the near future.
- Steaua – Otelul Galati 1-0 (Stancu 11)
The hosts grabbed three important points, against the team that had won against CFR Cluj in the previous round, but Otelul was a handful for Stoichita’s men as well. The match was decided by the player that refused to take part in the U23 game against Italy, saying that he’s injured, but who looked in very good shape ;-). Stoichita handed the first start to Stelios Parpas, in central defense, and takes heart from his performance, as the Bulgarian Zhelev will be suspended for Wednesday’s derby against Dinamo, after his fourth yellow card of the season. But that wasn’t the only blow for Steaua’s defense, with Artiom Karamyan leaving the field with a serious injury and keeper Zapata showing once again signs of weakness in goal… Read more…