What a great tactical match today from Poli! A good and important victory against rivals Rapid cannot and will not be diminished by an error made by the linesman at Poli's goal, because it didn't all come down to that.
With Arman Karamyan in the first eleven, Uhrin was obviously "undermanned" for this match. But it started well and Poli controlled the game, even if without creating any scoring opportunities. Rapid came close to going one up when Popa forced himself to save a ball which had been passed back to him with his hands, but Stancu's indirect free-kick was deflected into a corner-kick. After first warming up with a tight-angle shot saved by Coman, Arman Karamyan was very precise in converting Badoi's excellent cross! The only problem being that Badoi had crossed the ball after it had gone over the line into, what should have been, a goal kick. Still, Karamyan's perfect header is worth its share of praise. Rapid could have drawn level a couple of minutes later, when Milhazes was hit with a ball which then headed toward the net, but Popa's excellent reflex saved Poli!
The second half started with a great chance for Bucur, who shot next to goal while on a one on one with the Rapid keeper. However, this was about the only real scoring opportunity for Poli in the second half, the home side working hard to find the equalizer. In then end though it proved all in vain, for when they did manage to get past Canu and Brezinsky, Popa was there to make the save - especially in the case of Joao Paulo, whose shot was kept out with great intuition! When the final whistle went, everyone jubilated in the most sincere of manners, for even without the linesman's mistake, Poli had outplayed itself today, displaying a perfect defensive approach to the game and ending, for the second match in a row, without conceding.
Of the foreigners, it was Arman, Brezinsky and Borbely who really stood out. I suppose it's quite something that Arman has, for a change, is taking most of the credit and not his brother. But it's well deserved, because Artiom simply wasn't very inspired today. Brezinsky and Borbely were majestic in defense and hopefully they'll keep on being just as majestic in the matches to come. Good game!
Poli: Popa (7) - Bădoi (7), Brezinsky (7), Cânu (7), Milhazes (6) - Abiodun (6), Borbely (6,5), Aliuţă (6), Art. Karamyan (5,5) - Bucur (6), Arm. Karamyan (6,5); Tibi Bălan (5), Axente and Raţiu came on for Aliuţă, Arman Karamyan and Gigel Bucur.
You can watch the goal here.
The next match is at home, on Saturday, against arch-rivals UTA. If the team plays as well as they did today, there's little doubt as to who will be the winner.