FC Arges - Poli 1:1 (1:1)

It wasn't the best of starts, but keeping in mind that Uhrin was unable to field some important players and the home side had quite a few scoring opportunities, we can be content with it.

The white-violets started the match in a determined fashion, but the determination "faded" quickly and was replaced by an acute lack of ideas. Consequently, there were few chances for Bucur&co, while FC Arges were always ready to strike on a counter-attack. Despite Magera hitting a tight angled shot a bit after the 30th minute which was saved by Bosneag, it was Taborda who took the spotlight, after Poli's Portuguese goalie pushed a Dulcea cross into his own net to make it 1-0 for the home side. Luckily enough the white-violets struck back quickly through the above mentioned Magera, who deflected a Bucur cross with quite some elegance to send the ball to the far corner and equalize. The two goals were scored in the 41st and 44th minutes.
The second half offered a showing of poor football, with Taborda saving twice on one-on-ones after Sretenovic and Brezinsky proved incapable of stopping the Pitesti counter-attacks, while most Poli attacks just consisted of long passes which rarely found their targets. However, the white-violets could have sealed the match in extra-time, when Artiom Karamyan had a good shot parried by Bosneag, before the ball bounced to Arman, who just couldn't keep his shot down.

Poli: Taborda (5,5) - Badoi (5,5), Sretenovic (5), Brezinksy (5,5), Milhazes (5,5) - Abiodun (5), Alexa (5), Stancu (5), Art. Karamyan (5,5) - Bucur (6), Magera (6).

Arman Karamyan (5), Goga and Parks were sent on for Abiodun, Stancu and Bucur.

So sadly, there's a lot left for Uhrin to take care of, especially in terms of putting together better possession with more short passes and less desperate long passes. Moreover, there's an obvious problem in the centre of the defensive line, where Sretenovic and Brezinsky are just to slow, while surprisingly enough, despite the very tall and sturdy players on the pitch, the Pitesti goal was rarely put in any real peril at corner kicks and the like. So these are all things which need to be improved on.

FC Arges goal:

Magera goal:


The Last Meters

After defeating BSK Borca on Saturday (goals by Bucur and Stancu) it became ever so clear that there is still room for improvements. Consequently, David Sanchez Rodriguez of Gimnastic Tarragona was brought to provide better options for the playmaker role, where both Da Costa and Garcia have been suffering due to minor injuries (while Vrsic has to deal with a more major one).

There's a remote chance that one last player may be brought - Gaston Machin of Independiente - but the deal is far from sealed at this point. Personally, I don't expect any more moves on the transfer market, as the team is getting ready for the season restart on Saturday, against FC Arges (19:30 local time).


Two More Results

There's one more friendly match left before the season starts, but it looks already like Poli's got a rhythm in winning. Although the opponents were mediocre, there seems to be a healthy trend in that the losses and draws have turned into wins. The last two were achieved gainst Viktoria Plzen (1-0, goal Luchin) and Romanian second leaguers FC Bihor (6-0, Artiom Karamyan, Stancu, Alexa, Bucur, Parks and Sretenovic), while the last pre-season friendly will takes place on Saturday, against BSK Borca.


The Good, The Bad and The Bloody Bad

The first win might have been in sight in the friendly against Zaporoje after Abiodun's 16th minute goal, but many missed scoring opportunities and a second half turn-around with a last minute goal by the day's opponents meant the white-violets were to lose the second match of the Austrian prep camp.

However, the game against Dunfermline proved an ideal opportunity to dump all the frustrations accumulated up to now and Gigel Bucur made sure to do that, scoring a hat-trick in the first half. Artavazd Karamyan added a fourth in the second half, while the Scottish team managed to score in the 85th minute.

On a much sadder note, Dare Vrsic's surgery has proven to be "faulty" and the Slovenian will have to bear another surgery, which will once again put him out of action for about half a year. A really dismaying piece of news - bloody incompetent doctors.


News Wrap

Since my last report, a bunch of things have happened.

Firstly, four more players have joined the team: Winston Parks (Alajuelense), Dorin Goga (Universitatea Cluj), Eder Bonfim (Uniao Leiria) and Kenan Cejvanovic (Sloboda Tuzla).

Secondly, the white-violets are already in Austria, where they've played two friendlies. After the 2:1 win in Timisoara agains Drobeta Turnu Severin (Romania, 2nd League) - goals by Magera and Arman Karamyan - Poli lost their first match at Kaprun against MFK Kosice 0:1 and drew against Lankaran 1:1 - Da Costa scored from a free-kick. Their third "Austrian" friendly will take place today, against Metalurg Zaporoje.

Thirdly and lastly, following the need to comply with the abhorrent decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sports - which decided, based on fraudulent documents (according to Mr. Marian Iancu), that a former owner of the club holds the rights to the name and colours of Politehnica Timisoara - the team was forced to change its name to FC Timisoara and its colours to purple - white - black. However, as far as anyone from around here is concerned, the CAS were induced to take this course of action following severe irregularities at the Romanian Football Federation and there is no question as to which team they support - and that is Politehnica Timisoara, whichever name it may have in the official papers.
According to Mr. Iancu, this is only a temporary solution in order to avoid any possible sanctions, before attacking the decision with new evidence.