- Pandurii Targu Jiu – FC Brasov 2-1 (Pintilii 83 pen, Apostu 90 / Ilyes 68 pen)
Unbeaten in four games, Pandurii climb out of the relegation zone, thanks to the excellent work from new coach Petre Grigoras. This was a vital game for both clubs and there wasn’t much between two organized teams, until the first huge mistake from a poor ref. Unfortunately, things got worse, as he tried to make up for that error with another invented penalty, although there was a sense of justice in his action. Left with only 10 players on the pitch, after Pandurii equalized from the spot, Brasov failed to hold on to a point and are in the zone everyone had expected to see them, after they lost almost an entire team before the start of the season.
- CFR Cluj – Gaz Metan Medias 1-1 (De Zerbi 1 / Edimar 12 og)
Excellent tactical battle – as always, when Cristi Pustai is involved -, as Gaz Metan managed to cancel quickly a nice goal created by Bjelanovic, who has so much to offer to this team, thanks to his quality and experience. The equalizer came after a deflected free kick from Eric de Oliveira, who is right to feel angry that this was considered an own-goal, as he could have reached Steaua’s Bogdan Stancu at the top of the scorers’ list, with 10 goals in 16 rounds. Impressive stuff! CFR continues to lose very important points and should sound more convinced that they’re out of the title race, as this lack of realism will only do more harm in the near future. Read more…
- Rapid Bucharest – FC Timisoara 1-0 (Matic 26)
Interesting derby between two of the six title contenders in Romania. With the pitch covered in snow, Rapid’s fans came down from the stands before the match and gave a hand in creating decent playing conditions. Coach Nicolae Manea played Varga and Balan from the first minute, although both had joined the club with just a day before the game!, but the surprise came from the Slovenian midfielder Darijan Matic (26), who took advantage of Costin Lazar’s absence and scored an outstanding goal (his first in Liga I) with his weaker foot, from outside the box. Timisoara pressed in the second half and came close on a few occasions, but Mansour (who played his first game of the season) and Chiacu missed the best opportunities for the Viola.
- Gloria Bistrita – Astra Ploiesti 3-1 (Ribeiro Moraes 32, 78, Mihalache og 73 / Diego Silva 65)
Surprisingly open and good match, from two usually ugly teams, but both in hot form this year. The hosts attacked from the first minute and Napoli’s defense looked shaky without the Czech centre-back Radek Oprsal. Also, the left back Alejandro Kruchowski had his obvious limits exposed by the quick winger Ciprian Petre, but Gloria took all the points mainly due to some quality finishing from the Brazilian Aluisio Ribeiro Moraes (22). The team’s number 10 opened the scoring with a wonderful right footed shot from outside the box and closed the game with a well placed header from inside the box, making everyone wonder where did he came from, as he already scored three goals this season…
- Dinamo Bucharest – Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt 1-1 (Vitelaru og 16 / Mulisa 71)
Another huge surprise from Ceahlaul, who managed to win in Ghencea stadium, against Steaua, in the first match of the year. Dinamo had six points out of six and the win in this game was obviously taken for granted, as the Red Dogs were again thinking and talking about the title ;-). Everything went well for the hosts, Vitelaru sending the ball into his own net after a drilled cross from the promising Marius Alexe (20), but the Bucharest side looked happy to control the match and wait for the final whistle, an approach punished by Jimmy Mulisa (25), who sent the ball into the empty net after a good ball thrown over Dinamo’s defense by the experienced Ionut Badescu. The final 20 minutes showed Dinamo’s lack of teamwork and work ethic, as they struggled to create a decent chance, even though Niculae, Bratu or Adrian Cristea were still on the pitch. Ceahlaul earns another important point, the first under Zoran Filipovic, who praised his players, but played down talks regarding his chances to avoid relegation.