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Soccer: Astra Giurgiu wins Romania's Liga I

Marius Sumudica

Astra Giurgiu was crowned champion of Romania's top soccer league Liga I on Monday night. Coach Marius Sumudica's players got the champion shirts and medals on their home arena 'Marin Anastasovici' in Giurgiu from the Professional Football League (LPF) vice president Robert Pongracz and secretary general Justin Stefan, just after defeating Dinamo Bucharest by 4-2. 

LPF president Gino Iorgulescu was in the audience as team captain Valerica Gaman raised the first champion trophy of Astra, already secured on Sunday night, when rivals Steaua Bucharest drew versus Pandurii Tg. Jiu. 

Astra, founded in 1921 and moved from Ploiesti to Giurgiu in 2012, had already won Romania's Cup and Super Cup in 2014. The team, also winner in the regular season, will play in the third qualifying round of UEFA Champions League. 

This year's squad comprised goalkeepers Silviu Lung jr, George Gavrilas and Ionut Bosneag; defenders Pedro Queiros, Geraldo Alves, Junior Morais, Cristian Oros, Valerică Gaman, Adrian Scarlatache and Ricardo Alves; midfielders Iulian Rosu, Takayuki Seto, Boubacar Mansaly, Fernando Henrique Boldrin, Damien Boudjemaa, Florin Lovin, Alexandru Ionita II, Alexandru Stan, Filipe Teixeira, Alexandru Dandea, William De Amorim, Romario Moise and Fwayo Tembo; and forwards Denis Alibec, Daniel Florea, Daniel Niculae, Constantin Budescu and Ninos Gouriye. Tembo, Budescu and Gouriye have left the team during the season. 

The matches of the 9th week, the penultimate of Liga I play off and play out, have been scheduled from Friday to Monday. The results were as follows: 

PLAY-OFF 

Sunday, May 1 
Steaua Bucharest - Pandurii Târgu Jiu 1-1 (0-0) 

Monday, May 2 
Viitorul Constanta - ASA Targu Mureş 6-1 (3-1), 
Astra Giurgiu - Dinamo Bucharest 4-2 (1-2) 

Monday, April 18 
Viitorul Constanta - Pandurii Targu Jiu 0-2 (0-0) 

The resulting standings are as follows: 
Position Team GP W L T GF-GA P 
1 Astra Giurgiu 9 7 1 1 20-7 48 
2 Steaua Bucharest 9 5 3 1 14-7 40 
3 Pandurii Targu Jiu 9 2 6 1 10-7 36 
4 Dinamo Bucharest 9 3 5 1 9-12 35 
5 Viitorul Constanta 9 1 2 6 11-18 28 
6 ASA Targu Mures 9 0 3 6 7-20 22 

GP - Games Played; W - Wins; L - Losses; T - Ties; GF - Goals For; GA - Goals Against; P - points. 

The 10-week play-off started with half of the points of the regular season (rounded up) and with no goals counted. All six teams face each other home and away. 

The top two teams after the play-off are qualified to the Champions League; the 3rd and 4th placed and the Cup winner are qualified in the Europa League. 

Dinamo is suspended from UEFA competitions. 

PLAY-OUT 
Friday, April 29 
FC Botosani - FC Voluntari 4-2 (2-1) 

Saturday, April 30 
CSMS Iasi - Petrolul Ploiesti 1-0 (0-0) 
CFR Cluj - Poli Timisoara 5-1 (1-0) 

Sunday, May 1 
Universitatea Craiova - Concordia Chiajna 2-0 (2-0) 

The resulting standings are as follows: 
Position Team GP W L T GF-GA P 
7 Universitatea Craiova 5 1 3 11-7 32 
8 CSMS Iaşi 9 3 4 2 7-5 32 
9 CFR Cluj 9 4 4 1 18-5 30 
10 FC Botosani 9 4 2 3 17-15 27 
11 Concordia Chiajna 9 4 3 2 11-8 24 
12 FC Voluntari 9 3 1 5 9-15 22 
13 Poli Timisoara 9 1 3 5 7-19 19 
14 Petrolul Ploiesti 9 2 2 5 5-11 12 

The 14-week play-out starts with half of the points of the regular season (rounded up) and with no goals counted. All eight teams will face each other home and away. 

Teams placed last two are relegated to the second league. 

The team placed 12th will face a second league team in a two-leg playoff for a place in Liga I. 

Teams placed 12th through 14th who fail to make 15 points will be penalized in the next season. AGERPRES

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