Romanian side CFR Cluj was defeated by the Czech side Slavia Prague 1-0 on Tuesday night, at home, in the first leg of the Champions League play-offs. Slavia, with Romanian international player Nicolae Stanciu in the game and another Romanian, Alexandru Baluta in the reserves, won by the goal scored by Lukas Masopust in the 28th minute. The Romanian current title holders, CFR, were clearly being dominated in the first half. According to Agerpres, Slavia was faster, more determined, and more forceful, with superior technique and stamina. In the second half, CFR could have gotten more, but sent the ball into the goalpost in the 51st minute, and missed a penalty prosecuted in the 79th minute by French player Billel Omrani. The game in Cluj saw the first use of VAR, which is video assisted refereeing. The next leg of the Slavia- CFR contest takes place in Prague on August 28. The winner will be going to the Champions League groups, and the defeated team will go to the Europa League. Talking about that upcoming game, Romanian coach Dan Petrescu said, quote: “We have to attempt another miracle, and to have the good luck that we did not have today, but chances are very slim. They are very small, but we have to push forward”.
In the Europa League play-offs, FCSB plays on Thursday in Giurgiu, Romania, Portuguese team Vitoria Guimaraes. The Bucharest team is going through a difficult period in the domestic championship, marked by four consecutive defeats in the last four games. The victory last week in the preliminaries of the Europa League, when they beat Mlada Boleslav 1-0, was a surprise for everyone. FCSB continues to look for a coach to measure up to the value of its players, but will attempt to reach the League groups led by their current coach Vergil Andronache. He was the deputy for the last two head coaches, Mihai Teja and Bogdan Andone.