Dinamo and FC Brasov qualify for Romanian Cup semifinals

Dinamo Bucharest has qualified for the Romanian Cup – Timisoreana semifinals after defeating Universitatea Craiova at home, score 3-1 after penalty kicks. The two teams were in a tie, score 1-1, at the end of regular time.

Mihai Dina opened the score for U Craiova in the 31st minute, Catalin Munteanu equalizing in the 67th minute. Both teams played with one man down in the second half. Craiova’s players missed three penalty kicks (two of them parried by Dolha), while Dinamo’s players missed only one. Dinamo’s Marius Niculae shook the upright post in the 54th minute.

Before the game, U Craiova’s anthem, whose lyrics were written by Adrian Paunescu, was played through the stadium’s sound system, with the host team’s fans applauding it. Universitatea’s last victory on Dinamo’s stadium dates back to 1994.

Dinamo Bucharest head coach Ioan Andone explained after the game why penalty kicks were in his view needed in order to establish a winner. “Difficult game, we made our life complicated, but it’s important we eventually qualified. Ganea was unjustly sent off. That was the reason why we ended up playing extra time and why we lacked strength. We came after a 64-hour break, they came after a 5-day break,” Dinamo’s head coach stated.

“Our League I game on Sunday will be tougher considering I also have two injured players. If we fail to defeat U Craiova in the League I game we will fall farther behind the top positions, it will be difficult. We have to finish the first half of the season among the top 3-4 teams. If we are to play against Steaua in the final or semifinals… but after all even a game against Rapid would be nice,” Andone stated for TV.
In his turn, Universitatea head coach Victor Piturca pointed out that after his team was eliminated from the Romanian Cup – Timisoreana he wants 6-7 new players and that the fight to avoid relegation in League II is not over. “I am not disappointed, I’m downcast. We’ve lost a game that could have saved our season. Unfortunately we lost it at penalty kicks. My players did not properly prepare their penalty kicks. We are thinking about exacting revenge in League I, however I congratulated my players, they played very well and we could have won during regular time. We had several clear chances in extra time however we were unable to score,” Victor Piturca said.

Also on Wednesday FC Brasov qualified for the Romanian Cup – Timisoreana semifinals after defeating FC Timisoara at home, score 1-0 (0-0 at half time). Marian Cristescu scored the game’s only goal in extra time (93rd minute). This is Cosmin Contra’s first defeat at the helm of FC Timisoara. Contra was forced to replace goalkeeper Taborda and fullback Scutaru after they suffered injuries in the first half.

This season the Romanian Cup offers total prizes of EUR 747,000, VAT not included. The winner will receive a total of EUR 265,000, of which EUR 210,000 for winning the final alone.

The semifinals will take place on March 23 (first leg) and April 20 (return leg). The final is scheduled on May 25, 2011, in Brasov.

Last evening Rapid and Ste­aua also played in the Romanian Cup quarterfinals.

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