FC Dinamo Bucuresti won the Divizia A championship on a dramatic final day of action in Romania today.
Tricky away trip
Dinamo went into their home game with FC Brasov a point behind leaders FC National Bucuresti, seeking their maiden title success, who faced a tricky away fixture at FC Universitatea Craiova. National failed to deliver, losing 2-1, allowing Dinamo to secure their 16th championship with a 4-0 victory.
Dinamo have qualified for the second UEFA Champions League qualifying round, while National, along with UFC Rapid Bucuresti, will be in the UEFA Cup qualifying round. There was no cheer for deposed champions FC Steaua Bucuresti, however, as a dismal campaign ensured they will be without European competition next term for the first time in 18 years.
At the other end of the table, FC Petrolul Ploiesti and UM Timisoara were relegated and replaced by AEK Bucuresti and UTA Arad, the winners of the two second division groups. Top-flight duo CF Sportul Studentesc and FC Farul Constanta will also be relegated if they lose their respective promotion/relegation play-offs with Cimentul Fieni and FC Baia-Mare.
Dinamo knew destiny was not in their own hands, all they could do was beat Brasov and hope for good news from the Ion Oblemenco stadium, where National were in action. Claudiu Niculescu's eighth-minute penalty calmed the nerves, but Dinamo were unable to add to that goal in the first half. After the break, though, they stepped up a gear and sealed a crucial triumph through Claudiu Dragan (54), Giani Kirita (73). Ionel Danciulescu completed the rout in the final minute to spark mass celebration at the Dinamo stadium.
National's hopes suffered a blow in the seventh minute when a mistake by goalkeeper Bogdan Vintila allowed Universitatea striker Cosmin Barcauan to open the score with a fine strike. Midfield player Catalin Craciunescu saved on his goalline for the home side before Adrian Baldovin made it 2-0 six minutes before the break. National battled valiantly after the break but only had a 77th-minute strike from substitute Sabin Ilie to show for their efforts as the title slipped away from them in dramatic fashion.
Elsewhere, Rapid climbed from fifth to third with a 2-1 home defeat of Otelul Galati, taking advantage of Steaua's 1-1 draw with Astra Ploiesti. Catalin Cursasru scored both of FCM Bacau's goals in their 2-0 victory against Gloria Bistrita to seal the Golden Boot with 18 strikes.
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