Poli - Ceahlaul 3:2 (0:0)

A tough game, once again, for all Poli fans around. Luckily enough, Bucur's speed, composure and finishing, as well as the good form of Artavazd Karamyan and Gabriel Canu, managed to save the day and lift Poli up to the third place in the standings!

The match started badly for us, as the players seemed unfocused and Ceahlaul took advantage of that. Their first major scoring chance was a huge one, when Golban ended up alone against Popa, but missed the target! After about 20 minutes of play, Poli started getting back in the game, but the only real scoring opportunity came around the 40th minute, when Karamyan's free-kick hit the post. It was obvious that things would have to change in the second half if Poli were to win tonight.
And in a way they did. The team talk seemed to have done some good, as the white-violets started the latter 45 minutes of the game with more determination. After putting constant pressure on the opposition's defence for ten minutes, it was Bucur who got free of the last defenders, dribbled past the goalie and scored an excellent goal! Unfortunately, the joy was to last only a few minutes, as former Steaua player Narcis Raducan was found free in the penalty box a whole sixty seconds later, tricked Popa, and finished off easily. It took Poli a while to take the lead again and before they did, Artavazd Karamyan managed to miss a gigantic chance after some nifty passing on the right flank. It was his cross though that proved decisive, as it found Canu in the penalty area, who headered the ball into the net to make it 2:1! Just a few minutes later, Bucur "deja vu-ed" the crowd, as he received an excellent pass from Mansour and marched anew alone against Multescu, finishing with ease and confidence. Ceahlaul got one beg in the last minute of play after a well taken free-kick, but it was not enough for them to pick up any points from Timisoara.

Of the good old foreign players, Artavazd Karamyan and Abiodun did really well, while Rusic added yet another disappointing performance to his resumee. Mansour, Karamyan and Srhoj came on late into the game but achieved little - except for Mansi's good pass for Bucur's third goal.

Poli: Popa (5) - Dancia (5,5), Canu (6,5), Ratiu (5,5), Stancu (5,5) - Art. Karamyan (6,5), Alexa (6), Abiodun (6,5), Torje (6) - Bucur (7), Rusic (5) with Arm. Karamyan (5,5), Mansour (6) and Srhoj coming on during the game.

Poli is now third in the league table, but it'll take better performances in the next few matches to keep us there. Farul and Poli Iasi away, and CFR Cluj at home (in this order) will be the final three matches to be played this year.

Videos of the goals can be found here.


Srhoj to Sydney FC?

The following news item from the Sydney Morning Herald appeared on the 21st of November:

"In other transfer news, Sydney FC are believed to be in discussions with Perth Glory skipper Simon Colosimo, while Romanian-based duo Wayne Srhoj and Michael Baird - who both played under coach John Kosmina in the old NSL - are among other potential targets."

Just an interesting bit of news I thought I might put up for anyone interested. Of course, Srhoj is one of the players who might leave Poli this winter, in view of the new rules on non-EU players coming into place next season: a maximum of five non-EU players will be allowed per team.

Poli currently have eight such players under contract: Arman and Artavazd Karamyan (Armenia), Jon McKain and John Wayne Srhoj (Australia), Gueye Mansour (Senegal), Abiodun Agunbiade, Peter Omoduemuke (both Nigeria) and young Moldavian international Arthur Patras.


Interview with Arman Karamyan

Here is an interview with Arman Karamyan, published today by ProSport.

"To Play More Often"

R: You scored in the friendly against Banat...

AK: It's important that the team won. Friendlies are also important for us and I'm glad I scored. If we play like this against Chealaul, we'll surely win. It doesn't matter that I played there, my team now is Poli.

R: Are you going to "steal" Artiom's place?

AK: Artiom plays better than me in that position (left midfielder), but that's where the manager told me to play, so I played there. If he asks me to play as a forward or in defense, that's where I'll play, no problem.

R: Do you think you'll play against Ceahlaul, after your good performance in the friendly?

AK: I hope so. There are still five days left to the match, and if the manager gives me a shot, I'll do my best. I'd really want us to win all the remaining five matches, to stay in the top three. I want to win the title with Poli.

R: Do you still know anyone from Ceahlaul?

AK: Yes, the physio from there is a good friend, I was with him at Brasov as well. Some players too, like Forminte. That's the way it should be, I spent a year there, you can't forget something like that so quickly.

R: A comparions between Poli and Ceahlaul?

AK: Normally, Poli should be much better than Ceahlaul, but anything can happen on the pitch. We may be better, but if we play badly, we can lose the match.

R: You weren't called up to the National squad this time...

AK: I've spoken with the manager, he told me that if I play here, they'll ask me to come, because I already have 40 caps for Armenia. They'd want me to come too, but if I don't play, they won't call me, and it's normal to be that way.

R: Vali Silaghi


Friendly: FK Banat - Poli 2:3 (1:2)

Poli won today's "muddy" friendly in a categorical fashion, although the score does not reflect it. The goals were scored by Mansour, Arman Karamyan and Rusic. The Armenian had a very good match and was probably the best player on the pitch.
Also, John Wayne Srhoj and Alin Ratiu recovered from their injuries and played around 60, respectively 90 minutes.


Halenar at Poli (?)

According to onlinesport.ro, the Slovakian striker Juraj Halenar - who has in talks with the club this summer - will be joining Poli during the winter break. Rumors had been going about for a while about this transfer, but until the club confirms it, I suppose it is no more than a rumor.

Halenar, who plays for Artemdia Bratislava, is currently the top scorer of the Slovakian first league, with 12 goals this season in 16 games this season.

P.S. Poli president Marian Iancu dismissed these rumors, saying that the club hasn't been in contact with Artmedia for the player since the summer transfer attempt and that it would be very difficult to acquire his services after the fine performances he has delivered this season.

P.P.S. Romanian newspaper Fanatik wrote that Halenar's transfer to Poli is already a done deal, our team paying 500.000 Euro for the Slovakian. The player himself would receive 150.000 a year, having signed a three year contract. Unforuntately, Fanatik isn't the most reliable of sources and - to be frank - 500.000 seems like a small sum for a player in Halenar's form.


Happy Birthday to the Karamyan brothers!

Today, the 14th of November, Arman and Artiom Karamyan celebrate their 28th birthday. I'm sure we all wish them only the best in both their personal lives and their carreers!

Happy Birthday(s)!


Gloria Buzau - Poli 2:1 (2:1)

There's really little to say. Bad match, even worse than the one against Craiova, and thanks to Bucur's two majestic misses, the end result presents itself as it is.

Gloria were 2-0 up after fifteen minutes, mainly because of the lousy, lousy defense Poli had on the pitch today (funny, it was the same defense that managed not to concede against Steaua). Just one minute after Gloria's second goal, Artavazd Karamyan snatched one back, after converting a Rusic cross. But sadly, that was about it, and although the home side did little more than defend for the rest of the match, the white-violets seemed completely out of gear and scraped little together.

Except for Karamyan and Alexa, all the other players performed somewhere between "bad" and "terrible". Obviously, that wasn't enough to earn Poli any points today. Sadly, it seems that there are no alternatives available to Mr. Uhrin at this point, so our only hope is that the team keeps rolling as before until the winter break, when reinforcements are due to arrive.

Poli: Popa (5,5) - Dancia (5), McKain (5,5), Canu (5), Radoi (4,5) - Karamyan (6,5), Alexa (6), Aliuta (5), Abiodun (5) - Bucur (4,5), Rusic (5,5) with Torje (5), Stancu (5) and Mansour coming on for Aliuta, Abiodun and Karamyan.

For match highlights go here.


Poli - Steaua 2:0 (1:0)

Rusic, Abiodun and Karamyan celebrating the first goal! (www.prosport.ro)

You can rarely see a performance as devoted and determined as today's performance of Poli was. It's truly amazing when you start thinking about it and realize that except for Aliuta and Rusic, the first eleven players sent on the pitch by Uhrin had been at Poli for many months before the Czech's arrival. But that's what an amazing manager can do to a team's spirit and for that, there are no words to express the level of gratitude Uhrin has warranted for the work he has done in Timisoara.

The match itself started well for the white-violets, who totally controlled the first quarter of an hour - twenty minutes. The first important scoring chance belonged to Rusic in the second minute, when his shot was blocked by Zapata. Poli continued to mount the pressure and the inevitable occurred perhaps earlier than one would have expected: in the 12th minute, Bucur crossed the ball from the left and found a completely unmarked Rusic, who had enough time to stop the ball and then smash it into Zapata's goal! It was 1-0 and the beginning of story with a happy end - and a great happy end to it, if I may say so. Steaua slowly but surely came back into the game and had two goals disallowed - correctly - after they had headered in following two corner kicks. Their biggest chance of the match belonged to Nicolita, who got rid of Canu and was alone against Popa, but our goalie managed to do enough to defuse the threat! As a matter of fact, this was the only scoring opportunity Steaua had which did not come following a set-piece.
Today's opponents kept on pressuring our goal in the second half, but it was Rusic who came close to scoring again: Aliuta sent a perfect through pass, Rusic shot at goal, yet it was Zapata who had the last word, saving with a good reflex. Most of Steaua's attacking tries ended with long passes towards their forwards or with crosses into the penalty area, but Canu and McKain (Poli's central defenders) were in top form tonight and cleared well almost every time. Dorel Zaharia came close to equalising when his header hit the post, but that was basically the last significant chance Steaua had for the night. When four more of extra-time were left to be played, Mansour - just sent on the pitch - scored an amazing goal, volleying the ball with a side-ways bicycle kick! It was the perfect goal to round up an excellent performance which earned the team not only the first victory over Steaua in eleven years at home, but also the second spot in the standings.

To the foreign players now:
Rusic seems to have recovered from his dry streak and although he could have (and should have) scored one more time, his performance remains commendable. McKain's precise game in defense proved once more that the club management should try their best to keep the Australian at Poli and convince him to sign a new contract. His former team-mate at FC National, Abiodun, worked hard throughout the ninety minutes, as did Artavazd Karamyan, and the former's performance was crowned with his assist for Mansour's goal! The Senegalese striker on the other hand can only leave you wondering why the heck he can score the most gorgeous of goals, but can't finish the easiest of chances.

So much for success tonight! In closing to a great evening after which all the players as well as Dusan Uhrin deserve many congrats, here are the ratings and a link to today's goals:

Popa (6) - Dancia (6,5), McKain (7), Canu (7), Radoi (6) - Karamyan (6), Aliuta (7), Alexa (6,5), Abiodun (6,5) - Bucur (6), Rusic (6,5) with Stancu (6,5) and Mansour coming on for Radoi and Bucur.

You watch the match highlights at prosport.ro.


Watching Poli matches on the Internet

There are generally two ways of watching matches online, as far as Poli is concerned.

The first and most simple one is by going to MyP2P. There you'll find out if you can watch Poli's match using a software program, most likely Sopcast (you can get it off the website), on match day. All matches in Romania are shown by GSP-TV 1, 2, 3 or Antena 1.

The second option is to go to a website like microbist.org, choose the channel which is broadcasting the match and make sure you have the sopcast plugin installed. Also, it's preferable to use Internet Explorer to watch the matches on this website.

You can probably also try to watch the matches on Antena 1, whenever they are the ones broadcasting it, or just go to http://www.favorit.tk/ and look whether the channel broadcasting it is anywhere among the available online channels. You may also try http://www.gecotv.ro/.

To see which TV station broadcasts the match, click here and check on the right hand side, under the league table, when and where the match will be broadcasted.

I hope this is sufficient info for everyone interested. If you have any questions, just add a comment and ask. Enjoy!