FC Sheriff are celebrating after a 2-0 win at mid-table FC Costuleni ended their quest for a 13th Moldovan title with three games remaining.
UEFA Europa League group stage contenders this season, Sheriff went into the game on a run of nine straight wins in all competitions, but found their hosts to be in unusually obdurate mood. Indeed, it took the arrival of Juninho Potiguar to make the breakthrough, with the substitute being teed up by fellow Brazilians Luvannor Henrique and Cadú in the 76th and 81st minutes.
"I am very happy with this success," said Sheriff's Veaceslav Rusnac, the former defender having won his first major trophy as a coach at the age of 38. "It was well deserved. However, there is no time to celebrate now because we have the Moldovan Cup semi-finals and three league games to come. There is still much work to do."
Rusnac who had previously won the title in 1999/2000 as a FC Zimbru Chisinau defender, added: "I am always emotional over our results and now the emotions are just running high."
"Thank God we are champions again," said 24-year-old Luvannor, the league's top scorer on 26 goals. "Though we have a big advantage over second place, it was not easy. Winning the title is always difficult. But there is no time to relax. Now we want to claim the Moldova Cup." Sheriff face FC Milsami in the semi-finals in 7 May.
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|Last updated: 03/05/2014 19:48 CET|
|Venue: Vadul lui Voda|
Tsiganov 20, Catan 62
Juninho Potiguar 76, 81
Boghiu 22, 46, Guillherme 39, Belak 77, Iavorschi 84, 87
Alexeev 51, 83, Cascaval 54
Novicov 46, Zarichnyuk 87, Petkov 90+3
|4||FC Dacia Chisinau||30||57|
|5||FC Zimbru Chisinau||30||55|
|6||FC Milsami Orhei||30||47|
|9||FC Rapid Ghidighici *||30||20|
|10||FC Academia Chisinau||30||16|
|11||FC Olimpia Balti||30||15|
|12||FC Speranta *||30||13|