It's been another tough evening on the Dan Paltinisanu stadium, as arch-rivals Dinamo came around to play out the battle for a much desired UEFA Cup spot.
Things were going pretty fine in the first half, as Poli came close to goal a few times, even hitting the post, but Dinamo midfielder Cristea also managed to stretch Marius Popa with a dangerous long-shot. The white-violets also had a good opportunity when Ganea was fouled at about 25 meters from goal, but Aliuta sent the ball high and wide, to the dismay of the 25,000 fans present in the stands.
The second half started in the same rhythm as the first, and Popa was once more forced to make a good save. In the 62nd minute however, Dinamo were awarded a dubious penalty after a Luchin foul which seems - at the least - not to have occurred in the penalty area. It was the second yellow for the young Poli defender (although a sending off for professional foul was warranted) and Danciulescu safely converted. Poli was down to ten men, but it didn't shake off Uhrin's team, and after a mistake by Pulhac, Ganea came away with the ball (even though he had been off-side), passed it to Rusic who converted to make it one all! The match went on as it had before, even though Dinamo were a bit more dangerous now, considering the extra-men. Vrsic was sent on the pitch to mark his return after a gruesome injury, a feat of which he is surely pleased, even if it could not be celebrated with a success for the team. Poli then went down to nine men, after Popa committed a hand-ball coming out to make a save and Brezinsky had a word or two with the referee, who obviously did not appreciate the input and decided to hand the Slovak defender two successive yellow cards - even though he had not done the same in the case of two Dinamo players. With ten minutes left, the white violets held on to the result, especially thanks to Popa's excellent saves, a result which, considering the circumstances, is quite satisfying.
Poli played a mediocre game today, even if they seemed to control it a bit better at times than their opponents. The lack of real dynamics in attack were mainly due to Arman Karamyan's lackluster performance, which explains the scarcity of goalscoring opportunities. His brother had a decent game, sending the cross which preceded Poli's equalizer, but he still isn't up to the level he showed in the first part of the season. Brezinsky and Borbely had flawed performances, the former losing many challenges to Dinamo striker Miranda, and the latter wasting possession pretty cheaply. Abiodun's night was also quite uneventful, even though he did find himself in a good situation at one point, but the red-white defenders blocked his shot. Of all foreigners on the pitch, it was Milhazes who played best, even though he could have done more to help Luchin's plight in the "charge" right before the penalty.
Poli: Popa (7) - Milhazes (6), Luchin (5,5), Brezinsky (5,5), Bădoi (5,5) - Art. Karamyan (6), Aliuţă (6), Borbely (5,5), Abiodun (5,5) - Ganea (6), Arm. Karamyan (5). Rusic (6), Vrsic (5,5) and Raţiu came on for Arman Karamyan, Aliuţă and Abiodun.
You can watch the important match highlights here.