Round 19 – results, scorers, standings and highlights
- Pandurii Targu Jiu – Otelul Galati 0-3
The league started “in style”, with the first game decided off the pitch, as Pandurii failed to clear some older debt with Dinamo and was not scheduled for the first round. This was “the most clever way to fix a match”, according to Otelul’s title contenders, who had to work hard for the points last weekend…
- Rapid Bucuresti – Unirea Urziceni 1-0 (Sburlea 44)
Played on a frozen pitch, this could have gone wrong for the home side, but a key moment was poorly judged by the ref. In the first half, Rusescu was released behind Rapid’s defense and was fouled by the rushing Danut Coman just outside the pitch, but the ref thought otherwise. In front of a brand new Unirea team, Rapid managed to break the deadlock just before the break through Sburlea and defended the result easily in the second half. A valuable win given the conditions and the surprising quality of Unirea’s new roster, which might cause some trouble to the other teams this year…
- Sportul Studentesc – Dinamo Bucuresti 0-1 (C. Munteanu 36)
Usually a high scoring game, this looked like the perfect opportunity for Danciulescu to climb into the third spot in the all time best scorers list, but the veteran wasted several good chances. With Torje, Alexe and Ganea looking set to feature as regular starters, we can expect decent results from the team, especially in the summer, when the Red Dogs should be able to sell at least one or two of them for some hefty transfer fees.
- Poli Timisoara – Gaz Metan Medias 3-1 (Goga 55, Zicu 62, 79 / Dudita 49)
Disappointing in the first half, the game opposed two coaches who tried to surprise each other with the defensive setup. Pustai used the 2.03 m left back Zarko Markovic as an anchorman, to try and control Lukas Magera, while Dusan Uhrin Jr. responded with the centre-back Cisovsky as a box-to-box midfielder. Horrible decisions, no wonder the match took off only after the break, when Timisoara used its most creative players to kill the game.
- Universitatea Cluj – FC Brasov 1-1 (Delgado 54 pen / Ilyes 63 pen)
The home team has invested in some good players this winter, like Abrudan or Adrian Cristea, but they still need time to gel, and a well organized and hard working FC Brasov punished them easily, taking a vital point for their survival.
- Victoria Branesti – CFR Cluj 1-1 (Coman 21 / Muresan 71)
Still thinking and speaking about the title, the champions were in shock when Coman scored an excellent goal and had to work a lot for the draw, a result that should determine the team take a more humble approach in the future. This team is not looking good at all…
- Universitatea Craiova – Steaua Bucuresti 0-1 (Bilasco 31)
There was a good home crowd, in spite of a protest that asked the fans to boycot the match, as an attack to the club’s owner Adrian Mititelu, a sign that Craiova still has the backing of the fans, which will definitely help in the future home games. Steaua showed no significant improvement after the winter break, with the same obvious lack of creativity, while in Universitatea’s team shone another promising youngster, Marius Ologu, while the star, Florin Costea, wasted very big chances and his team’s chance to get at least one point.
- FCM Targu Mures – FC Vaslui 0-2 (Wesley 63, 86)
Not 100% fit, Wesley proved once again that he’s from a different class, proving decisive in the second half with two excellent goals. Unable to sign any new players until the summer, FC Vaslui can consider the Brazilian’s contract extension as the best winter deal they could have done.
- Astra Ploiesti – Gloria Bistrita 1-0 (Oprsal 69)
Chances at both ends, but Gloria lacks now Junior Moraes, the Brazilian sold for 1.2 million Euros to Metalurg Donetsk, which could do a lot of harm in the standings, this year. Astra could also do with a quality striker – their best scorer, Fatai, is out injured -, but this is one of the most hard working and disciplined team in the league, which should be enough to stay away from the danger zone and also earn some surprising results in the near future.