Dinamo Bucharest, the host team, defeated Steaua Bucharest by 3-1 (2-1) in the match scheduled for Wednesday on the National Arena in Bucharest, in the 18th leg of the top-tier Liga I championship. Dinamo won on its own merits, even though it fared worse in the first 30 minutes, being a bit put off by an early lead by Steaua.
Steaua gained a penalty shot after only eight seconds of play that was transformed into a goal by Fernando Boldrin's well-placed shot in minute 4, the execution being delayed by Dinamo's fans throwing flares onto the pitch. This was not the sole incident caused by the home team, as one of the banners used by the Dinamo fans caught on fire roughly at the middle of the first half, necessitating an intervention by the firemen present at the match.
In the 19th minute, Steliano Filip's mistake gifted an opportunity to Adrian Popa who didn't manage to take advantage, allowing the Dinamo defender to return and retake the ball. Adrian Popa then went on to center the ball in the next minute, but the opportunity fell through yet again. Muniru and Boldrin were also just short of the goal in minute 27 and Steaua failed to score, while the hosts struggled to get a shot in for the first 30 minutes of play.
Dinamo's errors mounted in the first 30 minutes, but the team swung back to victory after Steaua's defence showed weakness. Rotariu headed a ball over the crossbar in minute 35 and just a minute later, Busuladzic was fouled in the penalty box, referee Ovidiu Hategan issuing another penalty. It was Dinamo's turn this time, and Hanca transformed the shot into an even 1-1, even though Steaua's keeper Nita had guessed the side of the shot.
Dinamo took the lead in the fifth minute of the first half's stoppage time through Nedelcearu's efforts on a free kick by Hanca that surprised Steaua's defence. Steaua played a weak match in the second half, with Tamas and Nita, two of the best players this season, committing serious errors in minute 58 and allowing Nemec to take advantage and close the scoreboard at 3-1. The match went on, both teams wasting precious opportunities to make a difference, Nemec managing a poor header in minute 70, followed by Lazar's shot on keeper in minute 73 that failed to make Dinamo's victory more sweet. On the other hand, Steaua missed huge opportunities to recoup the difference through Boldrin's shot on center in minute 82 and Gnohere's shot a few minutes later.
Brazilian Boldrin dedicated his opener to Chapecoense, the Brazilian team decimated in an air crash yesterday in Medellin. The match also debuted with a minute's silence for the team. In the Liga I standings, Steaua is still in first place, with 34 points, one point ahead of CSU and Viitorul Constanta, while Dinamo ranks fifth, with 29 points.
Steaua and Dinamo now have 56 victories each in direct matchups
FC Dinamo Bucuresti - FC Steaua Bucuresti 3-1 (2-1), National Arena, Bucharest
Goalscorers: Sergiu Hanca (37 - penalty), Ionut Nedelcearu (45+5), Adam Nemec (58) for Dinamo; Fernando Boldrin (4 - penalty) for Steaua
Dinamo: 26. Jaime Penedo - 29. Jose Antonio Romera, 5. Ionut Nedelcearu, 28. Luka Maric, 7. Steliano Filip - 6. Aser Busuladzic - 4. Sergiu Hanca (18. May Mahlangu, 67), 15. Dan Nistor (captain) - 9. Dorin Rotariu, 8. Valentin Lazar (24. Luca Ceccarelli, 85) - 17. Adam Nemec (10. Harlem Eddy Gnohere, 76). Coach: Ioan Andone.
Unused subs: 1. Laurentiu Branescu - 2. Mihai Popescu, 13. Daniel Popa, 21. Vlad Olteanu.
Steaua: 1. Florin Nita - 23. Ovidiu Popescu, 4. Gabriel Tamas, 13. Alin Tosca, 15. Marko Momcilovic - 55. Alexandru Bourceanu (17. Antonio Jakolis, 53), 11. Muniru Sulley (5. Mihai Pintilii, 33) - 77. Adrian Popa (captain), 27. Fernando Boldrin, 29. William De Amorim - 14. Bojan Golubovic. Coach: Laurentiu Reghecampf.
Unused subs: 33. Eduard Stancioiu - 16. Robert Vilceanu, 20. Vlad Achim, 21. Wilfried Moke, 44. Gabriel Enache.
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (Arad); assistant referees: Octavian Sovre (Oradea), Sebastian Gheorghe (Suceava); fourth official: Robert Dumitru (Sfantu Gheorghe)
Observers: Augustus Constantin (Ramnicu Valcea) - Central Referee Commission (CCA), Viorel Ilinca (Pitesti) - Professional Football League (LPF)
Yellow cards: Pintilii (36), Popescu (68), Nemec (70), Busuladzic (88)