Unfortunately, Poli's game is on a downward slope. Another game with one of the bottom teams, another draw! Slow and uninspired is what best describes it. Despite having the ball most of the time, the players could not find any solutions. More than that, in the first half, it was the other team that had the opportunities.
First, in the 5th minute, Bonfim headed the ball home, but too slow, almost causing a goal as Pantilimon could not retain the ball, and was countered by one of Ceahlău's men. The referee saved us by giving away a foul. Two headers followed. First one in the 19th minute from Mulisa, left unmarked in the middle of the box, but it went over the bar. Nine minutes later a free kick was executed long from the left, Forminte jumped higher than Sepsi and headed the ball to the opposite corner, but Pantilimon easily stretched to retain it. Most of the time, the ball was just passed between our defenders. This could have proved costly, because close to half-time, Mera goofed, and Velkovski intercepted the ball. Fortunately, despite having a clear run for goal, his shot was way off.
After the break, Poli started pushing forward. The first chance occured in the opening minutes of the second half, when Kozak played a free kick deep into the box, but Chiacu's header went wide. Contra's and entrance at half time and Mansour in the 62nd minute animated the game. First, Contra's corner kick was head by the Senegalese, close to the post, but a defender was there to kick it away. Right in the next minute, the same Mansour received a ball on the left side, inside the box, beautifully shot the ball, but it went just wide. Finally, in the 67th minute, a long distance shot was deflected by a defender, but unluckily for him, the ball jumped in front of the goal. Chiacu could only push it into the keeper, but Mansour covered his back and drove it in. It could have been all over in the 85th minute, when Mansour, again, was excellently opened for goal. He was in an offside position, but the referee didn't see it. Perhaps feeling guilty, he tried to chip the ball, but too low... The keeper stopped it.
Ceahlău tried to do something, but wasn't really that dangerous. However, Bourceanu, who came in right after the goal, caused an unnecessary foul, close to the right corner of the box. The ball had a nice curve, that could have easily been held by Pantilimon. Inexplicably, he stretched, but let the ball fall. It hit the bar, and an attacker managed to hit it as best he could. The ball hit the ground, made it through the defenders. Pantilimon was right there, but the ball just hit him and jumped into the net. Ceahlau pressed, carried on by the crowd, but the only big chance was stopped by Cisovsky with an excelent last minute tackle in the box.
Our best players were Mansour, of course, Alexa, as usual, and Cisovsky who has made an excellent comeback, not only being close to perfect in defense, but also contributing to the attack. Perhaps he will be a key player for this championship end. At the other end, besides Pantilimon, who cost us dearly, Bonfim and Mera stand out, each with a serious error, that could have meant a goal against us. Mera made up for it somewhat with some good interventions, but Bonfim was nowhere, despite being everywhere. He often goofed and was inefficient in attack. Our attackers were quite blank, not being helped very much by our poor midfield. Goga was invisible, and Magera did what he could coming down to deliver some balls. Kozak unfortunately does not fit in this scheme, being mostly lost in Poli's no man's land - the center midfield.
Next match is against CFR Cluj, who are current leaders and it will be a crucial match. Fortunately, the 3 points we received recently, have gave us some comfort, but there are some really hard matches ahead of us and we need to gather enough points to remain in a top position. Let's hope the team has enough composure to make most of what's left.
Poli: Pantilimon (4) - Sepsi (5,5), Cisovski (6), Mera (4,5), Bonfim (4) - Cocis (5), Alexa (6), Kozak (5,5), Chiacu (5) - Magera (5,5), Goga (5)
Contra (5,5) for Cociș (min 45)
Mansour (6) for Kozak (min 62)
Bourceanu (5) for Chiacu (min 67)