One year after being relegated to League 3, CSM Slatina returned to League 2 after passing in the final phase of the promotion round, away, by AFC Odorheiu Secuiesc, after the tiebreaks.
After 0-0 in the round, on Saturday, in Slatina, in Odorheiu Secuiesc, on Wednesday, there was still a tie after 90 minutes of play, score 1-1. Simo Csongor opened the scoring for the Harghita team in the 3rd minute, when his cross took a strange trajectory and entered the goal. Remus Trancă equalized in the end of the first half, in the 45 + 3 minute, with a spectacular execution, scissors from inside the box.
AFC Odorheiu Secuiesc played in numerical inferiority and fainted a player
Harghita striker Simo Csongor was eliminated at the start of the second half for the accumulation of cards, so Slatina played in numerical superiority in the second half, as well as in overtime, but did not materialize the opportunities, including a bar. Moreover, in the 77th minute, Odorheiu Secuiesc lost the experienced striker Alexandru Pop, who fainted on the field and was taken by ambulance.
In the last minute of the extra time, before the execution of the penalty kicks, the coach of Oltenia, Ovidiu Burcă, took out the goalkeeper Cătălin Preduț (21 years old) and introduced the reserve one, Simion Velcu (21 years old), a tall goalkeeper of 2 meters!
The move was extremely inspiring, because Velcu saved two penalty kicks executed by Szabolcs Kilyen, the very first to execute, and Radu Criștiu, and thus led his team to League 2.
Slatina changed their goalkeeper in the last minute of extra time. The decision helped the team to win the lottery
However, Ovidiu Burcă says that the introduction of the third goalkeeper in the group, the second in this return match, was not a momentary decision, but was based on a detailed analysis during training.
“The match was extremely disputed, Odorhei is a very good and well organized team. At the dam matches you have to take into account all the details, the finesse ones make the difference, you think that you can reach the tiebreaker. I have practiced a lot of shots from 11 meters in the last weeks, to see which are the best performers and to see which of the three goalkeepers has the best defense skills. Velcu’s introduction was not a momentary inspiration, it was the result of the analysis made over several weeks! ”said Ovidiu Burcă.
Simon Velcu defended the executions of Szabolcs Kilyen and Radu Criștiu, but the goalkeeper of Odorhei, Albert Popa, also rejected an execution of Alexandru Popovici, the most experienced player of Slatina.
- They scored in the playoffs: Szilard Mitra, Attila Berkeczi, Janos Botorok / Dorin Toma, Alexandru Cincă, Alexandru Sălcianu, Radu Necșulescu
- They missed the penalty shootout: Szabolcs Kilyen, Radu Criștiu / Alexandru Popovici
Ovidiu Burcă: “I took a very big risk”
Slatina’s coach took some time during the break to go over his strategy, which raised Slatina’s organization to solid.
“I took a very big risk, but I saw that Velcu has an advantage over the other goalkeepers at 11 meters and I decided to enter the day of the game. I told the collaborators to take all three goalkeepers to Odorhei and in the run-up to the return we practiced the penalties again. Then I talked to Velcu, I told him what it would be like to put him 11 meters away if he got there and he gave me a lot of confidence, he assured me that I could count on him. I notice certain things, but the players make me make decisions. It was a lot of pressure for me, but it was a lot of lucidity and analysis. I kept my last change until the 120th minute, I had no injuries and so I decided to enter Velcu, the third goalkeeper of the team, who made the difference at 11 meters! ”Burcă explained his decisions.
However, Burcă also did not say that Velcu is not only more inspired by shots from 11 meters, but also has a body size, especially in height, which makes the opponent in front of him feel that the goal is small and intimidates him at execution. That was his main asset.
- CSM Slatina in the return match with AFC Odorheiu Secuiesc: Preduț (Simion 120 ′) – B. Enache, Pisăru, M. Manea, Sălcianu – I. Popescu (Cincă 46 ′), D. Toma, Dav. Oprescu (Necșulescu 63 ′), Al. Popovici – Doman (captain) (Neicu 91 ′), Trancă (C-tin Radu 84 ′). Unused reserves: – Al. Neagu, A. Stan, Barbuti, Deta.
“I went around the world and at home I found a fanatical infrastructure and people who support football!”
Burcă is very happy that he promoted with the team from his hometown, Slatina, where he found a lot of support and financial stability. It is his first performance as a coach.
“Since Monday we sit at the table, we make the strategy, it was a very difficult year, the fact that we promoted is the culmination of a job well done, but even if we had lost I would still be satisfied. Sure, the bitterness was great if we didn’t promote, but I saw the boys how much they worked, they progressed daily, these are the certainties in football: to be able to work and to have discipline. Promotion means a lot to the team and the city, there are other perspectives, another exposure, for now I want to enjoy this success a lot, it was an incredible job. I have been in Romanian football for about 20 years, I went around the world and when I got home, I found a fantastic infrastructure and people who support football. It is a unique thing and an incredible joy that I can do my job in extraordinary conditions and even at home. I want to thank all those who opposed all the conditions for this performance, I found in Slatina salaries paid on time, stability, when things are well organized, success comes naturally “added Ovidiu Burcă.
CSM Slatina thus returns to League 2 for the second time in its short history, after a year since being relegated to League 3 at the end of a single season spent in the second echelon. Burca took over the current team after the championship started. He finished the regular season of League 3 on the 1st place in Serie 6, with 41 points accumulated in 18 matches, and in the play-off, after nine other games, he reached a total of 58 points.
In the first round, he defeated it in a double round, each time winning 2-0, against FC Pucioasa (2nd place in Series 5).
Photo and video: CSM Slatina