FCSB lost the Champions League playoff against the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon.
No Romanian football teams will be playing in the Champions League this season either. FCSB, formerly known as Steaua Bucharest, failed to qualify into the group stage, after it lost the playoff against the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon. A week ago, in Lisbon, the first leg of the playoff ended in a goalless draw, but the Romanians categorically lost this week’s leg in Bucharest.
On the National Arena, in the Romanian capital city, FCSB only managed to cope with the pressure for 60 minutes. Sporting scored very early, on 13 minutes, thanks to their Ivory Coast player Seydou Doumbia. FCSB fought back and within 7 minutes the Brazilian international Junior Morais scored the equaliser. More opportunities to score followed, on both sides, in a quite balanced first half of the game, which ended 1-1.
The Romanians started the second half on the right foot, but it was again the Portuguese to take the lead, on 60 minutes. This second goal was followed by a half-hour nightmare on the pitch for FCSB, with three more goals scored by the guests thanks to deplorable individual errors on the Romanians’ part. The match ended 1-5, a result that keeps FCSB out of the Champions’ League group stage and sends them instead into Europa League. The drawing for the group stage is scheduled to take place on Friday in Switzerland.
As of next year, Romania will only have one team in the Champions League preliminary stage, more precisely the team that wins the League One championship. In Europa League, the second-tier European competition, there will be 3 Romanian teams, namely the winner of the Romanian Football Cup and the teams finishing 2nd and 3rd in the championship.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)