The game of football sure as hell ain't easy. But when you misread the game as badly as Poli did on Friday, nasty things are bound to happen. The defeat against Unirea should stand as a lesson for all those involved, the lesson being that you just can't win in this sport if you sell your best players and gather freebies to fill the positions left vacant in the starting eleven. Also, you can't win if you don't believe in yourself, which one might say is rather obvious, but it's just as obvious that most of the Poli players who went on the pitch yesterday were not aware of this minute fact.
The match started badly, as promising striker Bogdan Stancu opened the score in the fifth minute, profiting off a contemplative Dancia. Poli seemed capable of taking control of the game in the first quarter of an hour, but it was ultimately Unirea who got close on two more occasions before half-time. Ganea's absence was obviously weighing the team down.Whatever Mr. Uhrin told the players at half-time, it didn't help, as Stancu scored once more, while most of the defense was - as far as I can tell - admiring him from afar. As the minutes passed, things weren't getting better and they took a definite turn for the worst, when John Srhoj (who had replaced injured McKain in the first half) was sent off for a second bookable offence. Mr. Uhrin went on to field Torje and Mansour, who did bring something of an impulse to a severely comatose offensive line. After Cristea sent the first shot on goal in the 82nd minute, Unirea took advantage of the gaps in defense and scored on a counter-attack through Paduretu, repeating the feat a few minutes later - this time, Onofras gracing us with his goal. Poli got a penalty in the last minute of play, which was missed twice by Bucur. Luckily for us, one of Unirea's players, overwhelmed by joy, decided to touch the ball which was in the keepers hands, thereby committing what is technically known as a "handball" – Alexa converting the second penalty.
Yeah, lucky us.
Of the foreign players, nobody really popped anyone's cherry today. Abiodun was a disaster, wasting possession all the time, Vrsic only got half-way going in the second half, Srhoj...well, yeah, Srhoj, Mansour struggled well, but with little efficiency and even Karamyan seemed rather inexistent on a wonderful Friday afternoon. At least the 20-30 Poli fans present at the match remembered they stand for something greater than themselves.
There's not much to say after such a game and we're only left to hope it was all a big accident. But unless someone finds the roots of this accident, it might happen again any time. Hopefully it won't be next Sunday, when Poli meets Rapid in Timisoara.