I reckon a short report on Sunday's match is in place at this time, despite the huge debacle about Ganea's brutish act. So I'll leave that for another post and focus on the more pressing matters of football.
What should have been a grand match between two teams of similar ability turned out disappointing. While each team had its chances (with Poli's in the first half and Rapid's in the second), our white and purple boys will probably be quite content with the end result. Bucur's goal in the 17th minute came after a first quarter of an hour which I'd label as unimpressive, but Karamyan's free-kick and Abiodun's good cross, as well as the horrendous placement of the Rapid defense, proved enough to make things more exciting. However, neither team managed any other real scoring chance until the 40th minute, when Karamyan's curled cross hit the post of Coman's goal. Then, exactly when it really, really shouldn't happen, Rapid equalized in extra time, thanks mainly to Dancia's sloppy marking of Burdujan, who only needed to slot the ball in.
Half-time worked no miracles - or at least none for Poli. Rapid played with far more determination and the chances of Sapunaru and Burdujan came as a logical consequence early in the second half (how Burdujan managed to miss is beyond me, but thanks and many happy returns!). On the other hand, Vrsic's lone shot came close to Coman's goal, but it was far too little to actually pose a threat to the score line. Then, in the 70th minute, Ganea went berserk and had his way with the linesman after the latter signaled a foul which lead to our striker's sending off. What followed after this unfortunate event resembled the the idea of top-league football even less than the previous 70 minutes had, with a tense atmosphere hanging over the match. Rapid had one more chance to make the match theirs, but Popa parried well a Maftei free-kick and the final whistle rounded off a disturbing evening.
Problems seem to be gathering like flies at a lump of crap for us, as Ganea's suspension (which can reach up to 24 games) leaves Poli shooting blanks in front of goal. Then you've got Dancia's repeated errors which have cost us dearly (at least three goals conceded should be billed on his account) and the lack of any obvious substitute. Youngster Latovlevici should be an option, but the fact is that he is inexperienced and a bit back on the pre-season practice period, which he missed due to a conflict with the club management. And perhaps the biggest problem of all resides in our inability to win the battle in midfield, as Poli's game only seem to be working on the wings. Whether Mr. Uhrin has any idea of how to solve these issues and bring the team back to winning ways, I can only hope it is so.
Karamyan, Abiodun and Vrsic were the three foreign players who played against Rapid, with the first outshining most of his team-mates. Such determination and devotion I have rarely seen in players.
The Nigerian winger played a decent game, providing a worthy assist, but did little to help in defense when some help would have been quite welcome.
Vrsic came on for the lackluster Aliuta, but this event happened to take place just before Ganea's red card. Therefore, there was little left for Vrsic to do except help out at the back. He sent two long ranged free-kicks towards goal and while his efforts were decent, they were inefficient.