The winter break has had few thrills as the First Division season resumes with FC Sheriff still on top.
By Miron Goihman
The 2004/05 season resumes in Moldova today with FC Sheriff again likely to dominate proceedings.
Sheriff, the runaway First Division leaders, had a winter break in Turkey, but failed to impress in the Commonwealth Cup tournament in Moscow for champions of the former Soviet republics and fared little better in friendly games.
Sheriff also had to say goodbye to key players Iurie Priganiuc, Alberto Blanco and Serghei Kuznetsov during the recess, but with a ten-point gap between them and second-placed FC Nistru Otaci, they still look a safe bet for the title. Not that Nistru have fared better lately, losing team captain Iulian Bursuc and defender Sergiu Lascencov.
Third-placed CSF Zimbru Chisinau may fancy their chances of closing the six-point gap between them and Nistru, having signed Armenian internationals Karen Aleksanyan and Galust Petrosyan, although a long-term injury to defender Ilie Daniel Balasa has given them a problem of their own.
Nonetheless, the big three look to be under little threat from the five other teams in Divizia A, even if fifth-placed FC Tiligul Tiraspol pulled off a coup of sorts with the acquisition of former Soviet Union international Igor Dobrovolski. The 37-year old is likely to become player-coach.