FC Braşov - Poli 1:0 (0:0)

Poli started with the best team available, and in the first few minutes they really looked good, playing the ball around, trying to penetrate the defense. Magera got a good try early on. But as our side kept exercising their passes on a harsh pitch, at -5 degrees Celsius outside, Braşov started to get into the game.

The fact that after a few good passes, the ball would be lost, usually by Magera didn't help at all. As the half time was drawing nearer, Braşov closed in on the goal. First, a good header, but which couldn't bother the 2m3cm Pantilimon. Then, Zaharia managed to break from Nibombe's close marking and executed a great shot which shook the top post. Poli's only real opportunity was when Ezequias, under Bucur's pressured hit the ball to softly. Mincă, however, was quick to react stopping our striker from reaching it.

It has come to my belief that even when Magera plays bad, he shouldn't be pulled out. This could be the reason as to why, in the second half, when Parks replaced the Czech, Poli was not to be seen on the pitch. It was just Braşov all the way. Măldărăşanu was the first to announce the goal, after a diagonal cross to Pantilimon's near post, but his header was poor and went over the bar.

The goal came after a corner kick, deflected to the far post, where Bonfim did nothing to block Diogo. Pantilimon jumped from his side to the other, but without actually trying a save. The ball went past him and that was that. Nothing changed in Poli's game afterwards, no inspiration, no ideeas, no ambition. Even though Braşov slowed down a bit towards the end, we just couldn't create a clear opportunity.

Only bad words for the players, and even those who made a mark on the game, made a negative one. Magera could be seen as the culprit, but I would think otherwise. At least he was in the game, as opposed to other players like Goga or Chiacu, which almost couldn't not be seen. And even though his passes or deflections didn't reach the target, it wasn't always his fault, as the target also needs to be there to receive the ball. Anyway, I think his absence was decisive in the second half.

A very troubling aspect is the fact that Bonfim keeps making mistakes in defense. Pretty soon I'll be running out of fingers counting the goals we received in which he was not doing his job right. While not flagrant errors, he is just innefective in stopping his adversaries. No matter how good he is up field, this is just inadmissible. Even Artiom doesn't play this bad as defender. Speaking of the twins, they were both introduced in the second half, but miracles don't happen just like that. Parks, too, had nothing to say about the game.

It is sad to end the year with a loss, especially when this means we fall out of the leading bunch, trailing 3 points. But there are still many games to play and a lot can and will happen over the winter. It seems this season, the break will be quite short, as the championship is due to kick off in mid-February.

Poli: Pantilimon (5,5) - Bonfim (4,5), Luchin (6), Nibombe (5,5), Maxim (5) - Bourceanu (6), Alexa (6,5), Chiacu (5) - Bucur (5,5), Magera (5), Goga (5)


Parks (5) for Magera (min 45)
Art. Kramyan (5,5) for Chiacu (min 57)
Arm. Karamyan for Maxim (min 74)

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