- 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…
- 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.
- Following the sacking of Gigi Multescu, Ceahlaul’s owner started to look around for a foreign coach interested in taking up such a difficult job. Apparently, he immediately found one, as Zoran Filipovic – the former coach of Montenegro’snational team – is expected in Romania to hold talks with Gheorghe Stefan and to follow live the team’s next official game, away at Dinamo. After 19 rounds, Ceahlaul is at the bottom of the standings, with only 13 points, five less than Gloria Bistrita, who closes the safety zone.
- With speculation rising that he might be thenext coach sacked in LigaI, Ioan Ovidiu Sabau should feel slightly more secure, after the public backing received from club owner Marian Iancu. But only slightly more secure :-).
- Although the start of 2010 might look perfect, with six points out of six, trouble is just around the corner at Dinamo, as usual. Read more…