Round 16 – results, scorers, standings and highlights
- 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.
- Rapid – Universitatea Cuj 3-0 (Roman 7, Herea 69, Sburlea 80)
Slightly better performance from Rapid, who returns to victory after two draws and a loss (plus a defeat in the Romanian Cup!) and keeps an impressive record at home: 6 wins, 3 draws, 0 defeats – 20 goals scored, only 2 received. Still, they should lay low and try to look more consistent on their travels, as Marius Sumudica is far from being an accomplished coach and looks at times confused, tired and vulnerable. No wonder the team leaves the same impression. Nothing to say about Universitatea, after a good start of the season, they were all over the place and should welcome the imminent appointment of Ionut Badea on the bench.
- FCM Targu Mures – Steaua 0-1 (Bilasco 90)
A very controversial win for Steaua marked the return of Mihai Stoica as team manager and that is not a surprise. The man who partnered Dan Petrescu in the wonderful adventure that was Unirea Urziceni returns home and excellent results are expected from now on, as he’s an expert in playing mindgames with Steaua’s opponents, the referees and generally take the pressure off the team, which could really help a struggling group. The game from Targu Mures was ugly, with no less than 4 red cards and 10 yellows showed by the most arrogant ref Alexandru Tudor, and the winner came in extra time, a sign that Steaua has huge problems in building up the play, even with a two-men advantage!
- Universitatea Craiova – Gloria Bistrita 1-2 (Ciuca 27 / Ribeiro Moraes 10, 42)
Surprising defeat for Universitatea, who still fails to deliver at home, in front of a good and passionate crowd. Gloria’s Ribeiro Moraes has the quality to save this team by himself, but I doubt he’ll stay in Bistrita for the entire season, as all the big clubs are trying to get his signature as soon as possible. And who can blame them? The Brazilian forward has 18 goals in 31 appearances in Liga I!
- Sportul Studentesc – FC Vaslui 0-1 (Bello 72)
With the team unpaid for months, lacking proper guidance from the sidelines and relying only on individual talent and the odd outstanding day from either Dacian Varga or Tiberiu Balan, Sportul Studentesc looks doomed. FC Vaslui is heading in the opposite direction, though, and it was a shame to see such a poor performance on Sunday. The game was decided by the hard working striker Yero Bello and coach Viorel Hizo deserves credit only for going all out to win even when the team is not looking articulate and able to play at least decent football.
- FC Timisoara – Otelul Galati 2-0 (Cisovsky 75, Nikolic 78)
Good game from the top two teams in Liga I and it could have gone in Otelul’s favor, if the Argentinian Viglianti wouldn’t have missed a golden opportunity before the hosts managed to open the scoring. Cosmin Contra looked inspired on the night and re-shuffled his cards in time, killing the game in the space of three minutes. It was a good goal from the Montenegro centre-forward Stefan Nikolic, who is working really hard to claim his spot in the team, and Timisoara remains the only undefeated team in the league, after 16 rounds.
- Astra Ploiesti – Unirea Urziceni 1-0 (Mihalcea 90)
Relegation battle, with the players’ determination unable to take our eyes away from the lack of skill and any tactical idea. Poor game, won by the richer team, and Unirea is on a negative seven matches streak (2 draws, 5 losses) that makes next round’s match, against Sportul Studentesc, an all-or-nothing encounter.
- Victoria Branesti – Dinamo Bucuresti 2-4 (Maghici 63, Simion 71 / Danciulescu 28, D. Kone 52, Rubio 60, Alexe 67)
Typical win for Dinamo, against a team that “suddenly” loses determination, aggression, work-rate, quality. Just like that, just for one match. It’s a shame, really, but it explains why Dinamo’s struggling to get more than 1.000 fans in the stands when they’re playing at home.