"We deserved it," said FC Astra Giurgui coach Daniel Isăilă after his side beat FC Steaua București 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw to win their first major trophy, the Romanian Cup.
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League runners-up FC Astra Giurgiu ended the season with their first major trophy, beating champions FC Steaua București 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Romanian Cup final.
Having achieved their best league finish, Astra's nerve held at the end, with both teams having ended the 120 minutes at the Arena Națională in Bucharest with ten men. "We deserved it and I have to take my hat off to my players," said Astra coach Daniel Isăilă. "I was always confident that we would win the cup and that's what we did. We worked hard and it was a perfect season, crowned by this trophy. Throughout the last period we gained experience. We knew Steaua's strengths, but also their weak points. We are delighted."
After a quiet first half, both sides had chances to win it inside 90 minutes, but Steaua goalkeeper Ciprian Tătărușanu and Astra counterpart Silviu Lung made some good saves, though the 54th-minute dismissal of Steaua midfielder Lucian Sănmărtean looked to have tilted the tie in Astra's favour. The numbers were evened up eight minutes into added time when Astra forward Denis Alibec was sent off for a similarly robust challenge.
The final defeat means Steaua missed out on their first domestic double in 17 years, but they can gain some revenge when the sides meet again in the Romanian Super Cup, which heralds the start of the 2014/15 season.