Two Romanian football teams Universitatea Craiova and FCSB on Thursday managed to qualify to the 3rd preliminary round of Europa League. In Craiova, Universitatea played against the Hungarians from Honved Budapest. In the match played in Hungary, the two teams had ended the match in a 0 all draw, just like in Craiova, and the extra time also ended with no results. Towards the end of the extra time an event occurred, which might sanction the team from Craiova. On minutes 119 the Northern Irish referee Arnold Hunter was hit by an object thrown from the terraces and he fell to the ground. He came to his senses after a couple of minutes, but could no longer lead the match being replaced by the replacement ref who blew the whistle to end the match soon after. Then came the penalty kicks when Craiova footballers scored three times and Honved only one time. In Europa League’s 3rd preliminary round, Universitatea Craiova will take on the Greek eleven AEK Athens, the first round being scheduled for August 8th in Craiova.
In Giurgiu, FCSB took on the Armenian team Alaşkert, after the Romanians had defeated them 3-0 in the previous match. In the return match, FCSB’s Florin Tanase opened the score on minutes 10 from a penalty kick after he got fouled in the penalty box by Haik Işhanian. Surprisingly, Alaşkert took control of the match and on minutes 24 Brazilian Gustavo Marmentini scored an equalizer after FCSB’s goalkeeper Andrei Vlad rejected the ball. The Armenians took the lead on minutes 28 when Marmentini converted a penalty kick. Defender Mihai Bălaşa fouled Brazilian Thiago Galvao and he was eliminated. Galvao brought the score to 3-1 at the end of the first half. It was only on minutes 59 that FCSB managed to score again through Florinel Coman. The match ended 3-2 for the Armenians. In the 3rd preliminary round FCSB will play against the Czech team Mlada Boleslav, with the first match being scheduled for Thursday in Romania.
The 3rd team that represented Romania in the 2nd preliminary round of Europa League, Viitorul Constanta defeated the Belgian team Ghent 2-1 in Ovidiu. That was not enough for qualification though, given that the Belgians had won the match in Ghent last week 6-3. At the weekend, matches will be played counting for the 4th leg of the Romanian Premier League. (translation by L. Simion)