Another match in which Poli showed us its two faces. They easily controlled the first half, sealing an early 2 goal lead. First, in the 5th minute, Bonfim dashed down the side line after a pass from Cociș, and managed a sliding cross, where a brilliant Magera took the face of the defender and appeared out of nowhere at the near post to push it in. In the 11th minute, Alexa provides an excellent header from close range, after a free kick from the right, but the keeper manages to block it. And the next minute, the same Alexa gives a long ball for Cociș, who is one foot ahead of the defenders. The keeper comes out, and our striker finds the perfect opportunity to lob the ball over him and score. Like I said, Poli had a very good half, controlling the game, passing the ball around, with a visible relaxation given by the advantage. Despite this, the only two chances, came from long distance shots, first from Alexa, and then a very good effort from Curtean.
Half time was a changing moment, as we came out less concentrated, while Oțelul put pressure on use, looking for the goal. The threat appeared very early, in the 48th minute, when our defense made an almost fatal mistake at a free kick. Two attackers were left at least two meters in front of the defense, no offside, but luckily the header was poor. The goal in the 58th minute sort of poured lead in our shoes. Nibombe tried to clear gracefully, but he lost the ball. Axente, our player on loan to Oțelul, who had also scored against us in the away match, found the ball at his feet, took a quick looked to see Taborda a bit out and swerved the ball over him, into the net.
Oțelul had another big chance, when a player dashed into the box on the side, past Taborda who came to meet him, and got into a position similar to the one from where Deac scored against us on the goal line in the last home match, but our defense grouped quickly to block him. Although that was their last serious effort, Poli played more weary and uninspired, with the last few minutes bringing big chances for us, but with a fear that we might concede a goal towards the end. Fortunately, it wasn't to be.
First a long distance shot from Magera in the 70th minute, and then another one from Alexa with 3 minutes to go, both coming very close to the target. The biggest chance of the match came soon after, when Bonfim dashed on the right, luring three defenders and passing to Magera who was completely alone on the other side. He leaves the ball for Maxim, who tries a dribble, but slips right when he was about to shoot. Magera reposses the ball, but his shot is blocked. The ball jumps to him again, this time the keeper blocks, and then is quick enough to jump at Kozaks feet and stop him from scoring.
All in all a good effort from the team, and three precious points for the championship. CFR Cluj and Steaua have lost, leaving a slight opportunity for the title. But Vaslui and Urziceni have won, which means that the battle for second place is still fierce. Next match is against bitter rivals Dinamo, who are 6 behind us. It would be excellent to score a victory on their pitch, after 45 years!
Poli: Taborda (5,5) - Bonfim (6), Luchin (6), Nibombe (5,5), Sepsi (6) - Curtean (5,5), Contra (6), Alexa (6,5), Bourceanu (6) - Magera (6,5), Cociş (6,5)
Dede for Contra (min 74)
Kozak for Cociş (min 74)
Maxim for Curtean (min 87)