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Romania's football champions, CFR Cluj, Tuesday played their first match in the Champions League qualifier stage. The team coached by Dan Petrescu played away from home against the Armenian champions, FC Pyunik Yerevan. The match ended in a blank draw.
The Cluj side had the game under control and missed a lot of opportunities to score, especially in the first half. But they came closest to scoring in the second half of the game, on 73 min, when the Croatian player Gabriel Debeljuh sent the ball straight into the crossbar of the Armenians' goal.
In fact, the Croatian footballer was the most dangerous striker of CFR, working well with the other member of his team's attack flank, Ciprian Deac. The Romanian team were clearly in advantage, with 16-5 shots and 5-1 shots on goal. Moreover, CFR had as many as 11 corner kicks, as against 5 for Pyunik, however none of them managed to threaten the Armenian goal.
The return leg of the match between CFR Cluj and FC Pyunik Yerevan is scheduled for next Wednesday in Cluj-Napoca. If they win, CFR will move up into the second preliminary round of the Champions League, and will play against the winner of the match between Dudelange Luxembourg and KF Tirana of Albania.
CFR have bitter memories when it comes to Dudelange, against which they played in the 2018 - 2019 Europa League qualifiers and which beat them twice, 2-0 in Luxembourg and 3-2 in Cluj.
Until the second leg of the match against FC Pyunik Yerevan, CFR are scheduled to go to Arad, to play for Romania's football Super Cup against Cup winners Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe. The latter side plays this final for the first time in history, while CFR have 4 such trophies already, won in 2009, 2010, 2018 and 2020. The team also lost 4 other finals. (AMP)
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