Serbian club TCS “Backa Topola” met with Romanian “Steaua”. A few days before the match, it became known that three guest players had contracted the coronavirus. The disease spread very quickly, and on the day of the match in the Romanian team with the “crown” nine footballers and six team representatives fell ill. Steaua has 13 field players and the only goalkeeper.
The guests could have been forfeited if they had not arrived at the match and had not recruited 13 players for the meeting.
Youth and debutants
The match still took place, and Steaua had no choice but to release young players in the starting lineup. 19-year-old Rezvan Dukan entered the goal, whose career did not include a single match in the top league of Romanian football. The young players included 17-year-old defender Alexandru Panti and 18-year-old defender Ovidiu Perianu.
Only 14 players played, six of whom played no more than five games for Steaua. But what to say, if the head coach Anton Petrea came to the club only in mid-July and played only the eighth match in this capacity. For him, this is the first experience in his career as a head coach. Previously, he only worked as an assistant.
8 goals in regular time
Already in the 14th minute, TC “Backa Topola” was leading 2: 0, and it seemed that the outcome of the game was clear, but that was not the case. First, the guests’ captain Florinel Coman scored one goal. Then the hosts themselves gave Steaua a numerical majority – defender Dayan Ponzevic received a direct red card in the 44th minute.
After the break, the Romanians leveled the score, but a minute later they received a retaliatory blow – 2: 3. After 12 minutes, Dennis Maine converted the penalty, and the players took a goalless pause for 30 minutes.
The teams could have gone for a break before extra time when the score was 3: 3, but they also scored a goal in both directions: the defender of the Serbian team sent the ball into his own net, and his partner Tomanovic scored 90 + 4th minute.
The adventures continued into extra time. The Serbian club was not going to give up and, having remained with nine men in the 103rd minute and got the ball into their own net, fought back, but three minutes later got another goal. The match was drawing to a close and it was almost impossible for the hosts to save the meeting, but they did an incredible thing anyway – they leveled the score in the 117th minute – 6: 6!
In the penalty shootout, the players of the Romanian team were stronger, and the hero of the meeting was 22-year-old striker Dennis Man (hat-trick and winning penalty).
It should be noted that a month ago CSKA was interested in Dennis Man and Florinel Coman (goal + assists), but the club refused to sell them. Teams have set an incredible statistical achievement in performance. This is the first game in the history of European competition of more than 24 thousand matches, not counting the Intertoto Cup, in which each team managed to score at least five goals (excluding the penalty shootout).
TCS “Backa Topola” set a new club record by reaching the second round of the Europa League. Steaua will face Czech Slovan from Liberec in the 3rd qualifying round. The game will take place on September 24 in Bucharest (Romania).