CFR Cluj's debut in the Champions
League was wrapped up in bad luck. In the first leg of the first preliminary
round, CFR Cluj sustained a nil-1 away defeat by FC Astana, the title holders
in Kazakhstan's championship. CFR Cluj's run on the pitch was poor and below
par. However, the Romanians controlled the game for the most part of it, but
were unable to create many scoring opportunities. Contrary to all
expectations, Astana's Evgeny Postnikov
scored a goal on 68 minutes, when CFR Cluj's Vinicius and Culio were totally
unable to stop the ball shot from the corner. On 81 minutes, CFR Cluj wasted
their greatest scoring opportunity as their French player Billel Omrani sent
the ball wide from home, having found himself all alone in front of the
The "Dr. Constantin Radulescu"
stadium in Cluj-Napoca will host the return leg of the tie, on July 1,7
starting 9 pm. If they fail to qualify, CFR go straight into Europa League's
second preliminary round.
This coming Thursday, Universitatea
Craiova will play their debut fixture in Europa League's first preliminary
round. Universitatea travel to Azerbaijan, for a game against Sabail. 37-year
old Ghanaian footballer Michael Essien, who formerly played for Chelsea, Real
Madrid and Milan, is the star of Sabail. Also signed up by Sabail is Brazilian
footballer Enrico da Silva, who for many years played for Romanian teams.
Sabail has an artificial turf, which may be an advantage for the host team in
the match against Universitatea Craiova.
There is also another Romanian team
playing in the Europa League. In the southern Romanian town of Giurgiu, FCSB receive
the visit of Milsami Orhei, of Republic of Moldova. FCSB rank as favorites,
despite the fact that they ply 60 kilometers away from home, as the National
Arena in Bucharest is booked for several concerts. In the domestic
championship, FCSB will take on FC Hermannstadt, in a confrontation counting
towards the debut fixture of the domestic championship's first round. The match
will be hosted by the southern Romanian town of Pitesti.