With Magera suspended for yellow cards and Kozak suffering an injury during training last week, Sabău had a hard choice to make among all the rest of the available players, each being as unsure as the next. He decided to go with Curtean on the left side, and Mansour to form the offensive duo with Goga.
Poli started well, building up the game, with Vaslui trying their chances on the counter. First sign of danger was a shot that fell on the net. Then in the 12th minute, after a long pass, the broad-shouldered Costly made his ball well in front of the defense, Taborda came out only to draw the ref's attention, and it was 0-1.
Poli's players got quite fired up, but good for them they cooled down and tried to open up Vaslui's defense. Unfortunately, the opponents decided to close the game completely, buying time, and our players weren't very inspired. First chance came from a distance shot from Bourceanu in the 29th minute. Less than 10 minutes later, Pavlovici brought Goga down close to the box. He received the second yellow card and Sepsi's free kick swerved very close to the bar.
The second half looked to be easily dominated by Poli, which indeed happened, but they outdid each other in frustrating misses, and despite having the one-man advantage, the game ended in a loss. First, Mansour's pass would come back off a defender, but despite the good position, his shot would fly over the post.
A decisive moment was a penalty given after Sânmărtean played the ball with his hand in the box. After the last match, when Goga's shot met the post before going in off the keeper, this time, the striker decided to drive it down the middle. Kuciak dived short and was able to kick it off the line.
The game died down again, with Poli unable to be truly dangerous, unable to drive the ball to the middle of the box. Parks and Ionescu's entrances would change this a bit. But first, Taborda had to be on his feet to stop Wesley's free kick. Then, in the 80th minute, Parks received a cross from Sepsi on the 16 meter line but his volley landed on the top post. Shots flew wide again from Parks and Bonfim, probably because of the hard terrain. In the 89th minute, the same Parks entered the box on the left to find Alexa run up free in the middle, but his shot landed straight into Kuciak's hands.
A hard day, when the ball just wouldn't go in, with Poli missing a lot and wasting almost a dozen(!) corner kicks, which were either caught by Kuciak or headed away by the tall defense.
The defense can't be blamed, Nibombe and Taborda being there when it was needed. Bonfim seems to be seen good again by Sabău, forming a good duo with Contra. Mansour was unfortunately on a bad day again, missing some shots, but some passes as well. Like I said, Parks improved the game a bit, but he too had some off-moments. The best man for Poli was Sepsi, who once again proved he is on an ascending form.
Fortunately, we are just 4 points behind, there still is hope, but we must achieve the maximum from the next few games against weaker teams. At least to consolidate our position among the qualifying spots.
Poli: Taborda (6) - Bonfim (6), Luchin (6), Nibombe (6), Sepsi (6,5) - Contra (6), Alexa (5,5), Bourceanu (5), Curtean (5) - Mansour (4,5), Goga (5)
Parks (5) for Bourceanu (min 45)
Chiţu (5) for Curtean (min 59)
Ionescu (5) for Contra (min 67)