PAOK Thessaloniki of Greece is very close to advancing to the Champions League group phase. In the first leg of the Champions League playoffs, the team from Greece drew 1-all against Benfica Lisbon. Pizzi opened the score on minute 45 from penalty kick for Benfica. PAOK evened the odds on minute 76 when Egyptian player Amr Warda made it 1-all. The return leg is scheduled next week in Greece.
Razvan Lucescu is the son of one of the most acclaimed Romanian coaches, Mircea Lucescu. Qualifying to the Champions League would be a first for Razvan Lucescu. His career best is acceding to the UEFA Cup quarterfinals with Rapid Bucharest in 2006. Rapid at the time missed the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals after losing to Bucharest rivals Steaua Bucharest.
Romania Under-21 coach Mirel Radoi has called up four players competing in foreign competitions for the matches the national squad will play against Portugal and Bosnia Herzegovina in Group 3 of the 2019 Under-21 European Championship. Appointed earlier this month, Radoi has called up Genoa goalkeeper Andrei Ionut Radu, defenders Ionut Nedelcearu of Russia’s Ufa and Alexandru Pascanu playing for Leicester City, as well as striker Andrei Ivan of Rapid Vienna. Radoi also has a reserve list, including Vladimir Screciu of Genk, Adrian Petre of Denmark’s Esbjerg, Marco Dulca of Swansea City, Mihai Dobre of Bournemouth and Villarreal’s Andrei Ratiu.
The complete squad will be announced later on. On September 7, Romania will play Portugal away from home, while the match against Bosnia Herzegovina will be played at home on September 11.
UEFA has taken disciplinary action against FCSB after the incidents reported in Bucharest during the return leg of the third preliminary round played against Croatia’s Hajduk Split. The charges are the throwing of objects, setting off of fireworks, field invasion by supporters and insufficient organization. This case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on August 31.