Poli started the first home game of the year with ambition and determination. But the slow defense was overwhelmed by a series of fast counter-attacks in the beginning of the game. Poli Iași has strengthened itself with some players from other teams, which proved to be very dangerous.
Coming after a 2-1 win against Rapid Bucharest, Iași found themselves leading 1-0 in the 9th minute. Our defense was to far in front and slow to step back. These counter-attacks plagued us all night, being their only means of being dangerous.
After the goal, Poli played the same, trying different approaches to the opposing goal. Unlike the previous match, this time Parks was the servant and it suited him better, his incurssions from the sides finding his teammates in suitable positions, but they were unable to score. Goga and Chiacu were the culprits. Indeed, Chiacu was moved from left to right and in front of goal, perhaps in an attempt to confuse the adversaries. Luchin tried a header and Parks was unable to finalize a good pass in the middle of the box, instead being blocked by two defenders.
The second half brought forth a hero in the person of Cosmin Contra. The 34 year old redebuted for Poli after 5 years and showed an ambition far superior to his teammates. This animated the game, even captain Alexa had to keep up with Contra. It was only right that he was the one to score the equaliser, with a 30 meter free kick in the 57th minute. The game died down a bit, with Poli struggling to find solutions, even Mera (central defender!) found himself in attack. Iași had another good shot, but Panti stretched to push the ball away from the near post.
The referee offered a generous 5 minutes of overtime, but the game was looking to end in a 1-1 draw. However, a fan decided to take matters into his own hands, jumped on the pitch, took a football, covered the whole length of the field and pushed it into the goal. Goga followed the example and in the very last second, took the opportunity, swept himself to the center of the field, and elegantly shot the ball past the goalkeeper, from around 20 meters. An otherwise blank appearance the whole night, Goga made himself the hero of this hard-worked win.
The result gives us hope, placing us on the second place, tied with Steaua and Urziceni, and 3 points from Cluj. But the play is worrying, because much tougher games are ahead. Mejía is not yet the wonderkid we expect, Kozák needs to integrate, and the problems from the first game are still there.
Still, it's a new team, which has a lot more ahead, so we have to wait for the next games.
Poli: Pantilimon (5) - Sepsi (5), Luchin (5,5), Mera (5,5), Bonfim (5) - Kozák (5,5), Alexa (6), Bourceanu (6), Chiacu (5) - Parks (5,5), Goga (6)
Mejía (5) for Chiacu (min 45)
Contra (7) for Kozák (min 53)
Curtean (5) for Parks (min 74