It's never easy beating teams with good morale. It's even harder to win a match in which you offer your opponent unexpected gifts. Yet, Poli managed to get their collective hands on the three points of the day after an inspiring last ten minutes.
The match was well-balanced in the first half, especially until the white-violets scored. Popa had made an important save eighteen minutes into the game, before Karamyan's free-kick was pushed in goal by a Bistrita player (Dumitra). Soon after the goal in the 25th minute, Mansour could have made it two, but first Tatarusanu saved well and then the Senegalese missed the target from just ten meters.
The second half had only begun when Dancia whacked his leg across those of a Bistrita player in the penalty area and the away side levelled after Coroian scored from the spot. The match then took a turn for the worst, as Poli lost focus of its objective (put the ball past Tatarusanu) and Gloria was pleased to defend the result. Without any significant scoring opportunities, the match seemed to be heading for a draw, before Uhrin sent on Abiodun and Cristea for Aliuta and Mansour. First Torje fought hard on the right before crossing perfectly for Canu, whose header whistled past Romania's U-21 keeper Tatarusanu and ended up in the net - in the 80th minute. Just a few moments later, an excellent counter followed the route Dancia - Cristea - Abiodun and the Nigerian converted his chance with cold blood, making it 3-1 and wrapping up the win.
It might not have been an easy match, but the victory is a deserved one - even if a tad lucky. Unfortunately, both Rusic and Vrisc were unavailable tonight, the former's absence being caused by a nasty cold. Mansour - replacing Rusic - played a mediocre game, but at least he fought throughout the match for every ball available. The Australian duo of the night - McKain - Srhoj - did good, especially considering the fact that Jon is currently contested by both a part of the fans and the club's board, because he refuses to sign a new contract. However this affair will end, one thing is certain: McKain is an important first team player and he proved it again tonight. Artavazd Karamyan did decent, contributing to the first goal, but he was also caught off-side far too many times and his runs were less efficient than usual. His brother remained an unused substitute. The Nigerian right-winger Abiodun played an unusual position today as he replaced Aliuta in midfield, but he also managed to score his first league goal for Poli in just a few minutes of play! Certainly effective.
Well, that's that for the night. Here are the player ratings:
Popa (6) - Dancia (5), McKain (6), Canu (7), Stancu (6) - Karamyan (5,5), Aliuta (5,5), Srhoj (6), Torje (6) - Bucur (5), Mansour (5,5) with Abiodun (6), Cristea (6) and Radoi coming on for Aliuta, Mansour and Karamyan.
For match videos click here.
Next match: away against Universitatea Cluj.