Romania round-up: Rapid secure third title

FC Rapid Bucuresti claimed the title as FC Steaua Bucuresti were defeated 2-1 at FC Farul Constanta.

FC Rapid Bucuresti claimed their third Divizia A title despite behind held to a 1-1 draw by local rivals FC National Bucuresti.

Steaua slip up
Rapid kicked off against National late on Sunday knowing that the title had already been secured as second-placed FC Steaua Bucuresti were defeated 2-1 at FC Farul Constanta, a result which enabled Rapid to open up an unassailable eight-point lead at the top of the table with just two league matches left to play.

Second-half turnaround
Steaua opened the scoring seven minutes before half-time as midfield player Gabriel Bostina blasted in a shot from inside the penalty area, but Farul drew level six minutes past the hour with a deflected free-kick from Adrian Senin, and substitute Alexandru Baltoi scored a last-minute winner to hand the title to Rapid. Steaua could, however, console themselves with second position and a place in next season's UEFA Cup.

Rapid draw
The new champions fell behind against National as Sergiu Radu shot into the net from 14 metres after 59 minutes, but equalised three minutes later through Robert Nita. Third-placed FC Brasov, meanwhile, drew 2-2 at home to FC Dinamo Bucuresti.

Dinamo comeback
Dinamo lost striker Claudiu Dragan to a 35th-minute red card for a second bookable offence, and the home side took control, with Cosmin Bodea and Mugurel Buga on target either side of half-time. However, Ionel Danciulescu pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with six minutes remaining, and Gabriel Tamas equalised in the final minute to earn Dinamo an unlikely draw.

Arad on the brink
At the bottom, FC UTA Arads lipped closer to relegation, drawing 2-2 at home to FC Arges-Dacia Pitesti, despite taking the lead twice through penalties from Nicolae Dica and Petrus Manta, with Arges losing defender Raul Marincau to a red card in the incident leading up to Arges's second penalty. However, equalisers from Marius Popesu, also from the spot, and Marius Bilasco gave the away team a point.

Sportul struggle
CF Sportul Studentesc are also in relegation trouble after their game against FCM Bacau was awarded 3-0 to their opponents after Sportul defaulted on a transfer payment to Steaua, but first-half goals from Romulus Buia and Cristian Silvasan gave FC Politehnica AEK Timisoara a vital 2-1 win at home to FC Universitatea Craiova.

Late drama
CS Otelul Galati defeated Astra Ploiesti 2-1. taking the lead through Costel Cornea midway through the first half. Dinu Todoran seemed to have earned the away side a draw as he equalised a minute into added time direct from a corner, but a minute later, Mihai Gurita sealed all three points for Otelul with the winning goal. A 49th-minute Alin Minteuan strike was enough for CF Gloria Bistrita 1922 to defeat FC Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt 1-0.

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