Romania round-up: Otelul face relegation play-off

CS Otelul Galati could only draw on the final day of the season to leave their top-flight future in doubt.

Relegation issues
With FC Rapid Bucuresti having already secured the title, meaning qualification for the first qualifying round of next season's UEFA Champions League, and Steaua safe in second position, leading to a UEFA Cup place, attention turned to the bottom of the table. FC UTA Arad and CF Sportul Studentesc were already certainties for automatic relegation and, with FC Politehnica AEK Timisoara certain to finish in one of the two play-off places, the other was between Otelul, FC Farul Constanta and FCM Bacau.

Advantage slips
Otelul seemed to be on their way to three vital points as Gheorghe Iordache headed them into the lead two minutes before half-time. Otelul's Mircea Minescu and Claudiu Raducanu of Steaua were dismissed a minute past the hour, before the home side lost Cosmin Marginean to a red card nine minutes later and Steaua capitalised on their numerical advantage to equalise through Sorin Paraschiv 12 minutes from time.

Vital victory
Bacau took full advantage to win 1-0 at FC Brasov and secure top-flight status for another season. Bacau goalkeeper Florin Prunea, who was acting as the team's head coach following the resignation of Ilie Dumitrescu on Sunday, saved Mugurel Buga's 25th-minute penalty. Buga and Bacau midfield player Nivaldo were dismissed three minutes before half-time, and the away side secured all three points with ten minutes remaining as Cristian Ciocoiu's low shot found the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Farul safe
Farul were 2-1 winners against Rapid, taking the lead through Ianis Zicu midway through the first half and securing the points with a Alexandru Baltoi strike 12 minutes from time after Danut Perja had equalised.

Dramatic fightback
Both relegated sides secured victories, with Arad defeating CF Gloria Bistrita 1922 6-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Florin Ianu and a goal each from Jeremy Njock, Daniel Fritea and Daniel Stefaliga, while Sportul recovered from 0-2 down to defeat FC Arges Pitesti 4-2, with goals in the final 24 minutes from Octavian Chihaia, Cristian Irimia, Tiberiu Balan and Laurentiu Dinita turning the game in the home side's favour.

Late winner
Elsewhere, Politehnica won 2-1 against Astra Ploiesti with Ciprian Prodan scoring an 88th-minute winner, while FC National Bucuresti suffered a 3-1 reverse at home to FC Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt, who secured the win through goals from Mihai Nemtanu, Florin Axinia and Tiberiu Serban. FC Universitatea Craiova won by the same scoreline at home to FC Dinamo Bucuresti, with three goals in the first 24 minutes from Daniel McBreen, Marius Sava and Ionut Savu virtually sealing the victory.

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