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Season review: Moldova

Published: Thursday 6 June 2013, 9.18CET
FC Sheriff cantered to a 12th national title with four games to spare but there was a new name on the Moldovan Cup as FC Tiraspol held their nerve to spoil FC Veris Singerei's fairy-tale run.
by Evgheni Balaniuc
from Tiraspol
Season review: Moldova
Sheriff celebrate yet another league title triumph ©Sergey Sokolov
Published: Thursday 6 June 2013, 9.18CET

Season review: Moldova

FC Sheriff cantered to a 12th national title with four games to spare but there was a new name on the Moldovan Cup as FC Tiraspol held their nerve to spoil FC Veris Singerei's fairy-tale run.

FC Sheriff began the season by overcoming FC Milsami Orhei in the Moldovan Super Cup and ended it with a 12th national title in 13 years. There was a power shift in the Moldovan Cup, meanwhile, as FC Tiraspol came out on top for the first time.

Champions: FC Sheriff
The holders never looked in danger of relinquishing their crown, as a ten-point lead over FC Dacia Chisinau at the midway point testified. Indeed, Sheriff wrapped up the title with four games to spare and despite a dip in form at the turn of the year. They also had to contend with coaching changes as Milan Milanović and then Mihai Stoichiță made way for current boss Vitali Rashkevich.

Cup final: FC Tiraspol 2-2 FC Veris Singerei (Tiraspol win 4-2 on pens)
Both sides were making first appearances in the final, with Veris becoming the first second-tier team to make it having knocked out league runners-up Dacia and cup holders FC Milsami Orhei. It was Tiraspol who prevailed on penalties, though, after Cristian Cîrlan's 86th-minute equaliser earned a 1-1 draw inside 90 minutes and the sides were level at 2-2 at the end of extra time. Georgi Georgiev was the shoot-out hero with two saves. 

European places*
FC Sheriff – UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
FC Dacia Chisinau – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
FC Tiraspol – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
FC Milsami Orhei – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round

*subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the Year: Georgi Georgiev (FC Tiraspol)
The 24-year-old sparkled in his most spectacular and consistent season yet, inspiring his team to a third-place finish and a Moldovan Cup. Milsami Orhei striker Gheorghe Boghiu also deserves a special mention for topping the scoring charts with 16 goals.

One to watch: Artyom Khachaturov (FC Sheriff)
A product of Sheriff's academy, the defender who turns 21 on 18 June, won his third championship. The former Moldovan U21 international was rewarded for a string of assured performances with a senior call-up, making his debut in a 1-1 friendly stalemate against Luxembourg in February. 

Surprise package: FC Veris Singerei
Under the astute guardianship of Romanian coach Dănuț Oprea, the Chisinau outfit celebrated their promotion-winning campaign by becoming the first team from the country's second division to reach the Moldovan Cup final.

Leading scorer: Gheorghe Boghiu, FC Milsami Orhei (16)

Relegated: FC Nistru Otaci, FC Speranţa Crihana Veche, FC Iskra-Stal

Promoted: FC Veris Singerei, FC Dinamo-Auto Tiraspol, FC Saxan*

*subject to final confirmation from the Football Association of Moldova (FMF)

Number: 33
A total of 33 coaches were employed throughout the season, with only Dacia and Tiraspol keeping faith with their men at the top. 

Quote:
"We have no problems with our heels, Achilles' vulnerable point. We do not fear anyone or anything."
Dacia coach Igor Dobrovolskii responds to his team's tussle for second place with Tiraspol.

Last updated: 05/06/14 13.11CET

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=mda/news/newsid=1959111.html#season+review+moldova

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