Romania round up: Rapid racing towards title

FC Rapid Bucuresti moved seven points clear at the top with a 1-0 win at home to FC Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt.

FC Rapid Bucuresti moved a step nearer the Divizia A title with a 1-0 win at home to FC Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt than enabled the leaders to open up a seven-point advantage at the top of the table.

Steaua stifled
Second-placed FC Steaua Bucuresti were held to a goalless draw at FC National Bucuresti and, with just four games left to play, it will take an extraordinary collapse by Rapid to lose the championship from this position.

Fortunate winner
Rapid's only goal arrived after 35 minutes, as Ionut Voicu's shot was deflected into the path of Florin Bratu, who converted the winner. The visitors continued to press, with Angelo Alistar heading against the crossbar, but the home side also created further chances, with Henry Makinwa missing a number of presentable opportunities.

Brasov closing in
Steaua's draw gave third-placed FC Brasov the chance to close the gap to five points thanks to a 2-0 home win against struggling FC Politehnica AEK Timisoara. Marius Constantin opened the scoring in the 18th minute, finding the target with a 30-metre shot, before Cosmin Bodea headed a second nine minutes after half-time.

Extraordinary winner
Meanwhile, a Sandu Negrean strike a minute past the hour gave CF Gloria Bistrita 1922 a 1-0 win at home to FC Arges-Dacia Pitesti, while an extraordinary 65-metre free-kick from Corneliu Papura, who saw goalkeeper Valentin Bors off his line, gave FC Universitatea Craiova a win at CS Otelul Galati by the same scoreline.

Unbelievable game
FC Dinamo Bucuresti won an unbelievable game at CF Sportul Studentesc, having taken a 2-0 lead through early goals from Ionel Danciulescu and Cosmin Barcauan. Gheorghe Bucur quickly pulled a goal back, but two more Danciulescu strikes seemed to have put the away side in complete command.

Second-half goals
Laurentiu Dinita and Ionut Mazilu made the score 3-4, before Barcauan gave Dinamo a two-goal cushion once again. Mazilu reduced the deficit again, but Stefan Grigorie scored what proved to be the winner with 19 minutes remaining, before Octavian Chihaia made the final score 5-6.

Relegation boost
Elsewhere, Astra Ploiesti were 4-1 winners away to FC Farul Constanta, while FC UTA Arad kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation, as goals from Petrus Manta, Florin Ianu and Jeremy Njock earned a 3-1 win against FCM Bacau, whose only reply was a Florin Petcu strike.