FCSB has succeeded a heart-throbbing qualification for Europa League's third preliminary round. In the qualifiers' second round, FCSB outclassed Serbian opponents Backa Topola, with the amazing score of 11-10, after extra time and penalty shootouts. Backa had a 2-nil advantage all along the 90-minute regular time, yet FCSB came from behind and leveled the score. Then Backa Topola scored their third goal. FCSB provided the equalizer, then in the third minute of added time they scored once again. However, their 4-3 advantage was meant to be short-lived, since the Serbs were quick to provide another equalizer. In extra time, FCSB succeeded a 5-4 and a 6-5 advantage, but each time the host team leveled the score. During the penalty shootouts, FCSB turned each spot kick into a goal. Backa Topola had only one miss, so FCSB have made headway into the Europa League.
Only 14 of FCSB's pool of footballers traveled to Serbia, most of them being substitute players as no less than nine of FCSB's regulars have tested positive for COVID-19. In Europa League's third preliminary round, FCSB face Czech challengers Slovan Liberec. The fixture will be played in Bucharest this coming Thursday.
The other Romanian team that played in Europa League's second preliminary round, FC Botosani, has been ousted from the competition already. Marius Croitoru's trainees sustained a nil-1 home defeat by Macedonian opponents Shkendija. The third Romanian team set to prove their mettle in Europa league's third preliminary round, CFR Cluj, come straight from the Champions League's preliminaries. CFR will travel to Sweden, for a fixture against Djugarden.
This coming weekend will see matches being played, counting toward League One's fourth round. On Friday, Chindia Târgoviște play FC Hermannstadt, while Astra Giurgiu face CFR Cluj. On Saturday in Sfântu Gheorghe, the local side Sepsi go against Viitorul Constanța, while Universitatea Craiova play a home fixture against FC Voluntari. Three other matches are scheduled on Sunday, as FC Botoșani play Academica Clinceni, UTA Arad face Politehnica Iași, while FCSB are pitted against FC Argeș. On Monday, Gaz Metan Medias take on Dinamo Bucharest. Universitatea Craiova are at the top of the table, with a maximum number of 9 points. Following are FC Voluntari and CFR Cluj, with 7 points each.
The central Romanian city of Cluj this coming Saturday plays host to the 73rd edition of the Seniors' Outdoor Balkan Athletics Championships. Around 300 athletes from 12 countries will participate in the competition. Romania has a 64-strong delegation, including four of the five athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. They are discus thrower Alin Firfirica, long-jump athlete Florentina Iusco, 1,500m distance runner Clauda Bobocea and high-jump athlete Daniela Stanciu.
A series of matches in the second round of the group stage will be played, counting towards the Champions League in women's handball. In the competition's group B on Saturday, SCM Râmnicu Vâlcea play a home match against Danish opponents Odense. In Group A, CSM Bucharest play an away game against Esbjerg, also from Denmark.
(Translation by Eugen Nasta)