FC Steaua Bucureşti have successfully defended their Romanian title, with a 1-0 victory at FC Universitatea Cluj confirming them as champions for a 25th time, with three league games remaining.
Andrei Prepeliţă scored the only goal on the stroke of half-time in Cluj and there could be more celebrations to come for Laurenţiu Reghecampf's side, who can complete their first domestic double in 17 years when they take on FC Astra Giurgiu in the final of the Romanian Cup on 23 May. Steaua hold the record for the most Romanian titles, with local rivals FC Dinamo Bucureşti second on 18.
"It is a success which I will cherish until the day I die," said 34-year-old midfielder Lucian Sănmărtean, who has won his first Romanian title, having joined Steaua in the summer. "It is a special moment for me – a huge joy. I would like to thank all those who wanted me to play for Steaua and who brought me here. Today, there were moments when we struggled, especially in the second half. Now it's time to drink a glass of champagne and get some rest. We have more matches to come and if we want to prepare for them properly, we cannot slack off. We want to win the double."
Steaua did not quite match the speed of their success last season, when they took the title five rounds from the end of the campaign, but were the dominant force throughout and are ten points clear of second-ranked FC Petrolul Ploieşti. The current Steaua vintage are on target to become the fourth side to win the title by a margin of ten points or more since 1994, when three points were first awarded for league wins.
The only minor disappointments might be that they will fall short of AFC Rapid Bucureşti's record points haul for a season, 89 from the 1998/99 campaign, and that they have failed to complete the season unbeaten – as they did in 1987, 1988 and 1989, with Dinamo (1992) the only other side in Romania to have done so. That lone defeat was a 1-0 home loss to SC Vaslui in April.
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|Last updated: 08/05/2014 22:25 CET|
dos Santos Goncalves 77
|Venue: Targu Jiu|
Marques Madeira 31
|Venue: Piatra Neamt|
|Dinamo Bucureşti||0-3||CFR Cluj|
da Silva 42 (P)
|1||FC Steaua Bucureşti||31||74|
|2||FC Petrolul Ploieşti||31||64|
|3||FC Astra Giurgiu||31||63|
|4||FC Dinamo Bucureşti||31||52|
|6||CFR 1907 Cluj||31||45|
|7||CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu||31||43|
|9||CS Concordia Chiajna||31||38|
|10||CS Gaz Metan Mediaş||31||37|
|11||FC Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ||31||37|
|13||FC Universitatea Cluj||31||36|
|14||ACS Poli Timișoara||31||34|
|15||FC Oţelul Galaţi||31||34|
|16||FC Viitorul Constanţa||31||34|
|17||AFC Săgeata Năvodari||31||32|
|18||ASC Corona Braşov||31||14|