It was always going to be a difficult task for Snagov to travel to Craiova and come back with a win. In the end, Snagov were beaten by a superior team and there is no shame in that. Football is a contest between twenty-two players and ninety-nine times out of a hundred the team with better players gets the win. What makes football great is the one time in a hundred when there is a giant killing. An outsider may look at the fixture on paper; Liga 1 side hosting the team top of Liga 2 and say it's not a mismatch. However, let's not forget that Snagov is a tiny place and Sportul Snagov have attendances in the low hundreds. Craiova have a state-of-the-art stadium that holds over 30,000 and is generally at least half-full. Snagov has a population of less than 10,000. Craiova could fit the population of Snagov inside their stadium several times over. There is no shame in David losing to Goliath.
The Snagov team preparing for the match.
Attention now turns to the match on Saturday morning against FC Academica Clinceni. With Snagov in first place in LIga 2 and Clinceni just two points behind in second place, this match could have huge importance to the promotion prospects of both clubs. After a long trip from Snagov to Craiova today, Snagov will be relieved that the journey to Clinceni is much shorter. Although it would have been nice for Snagov to have a more successful spell in the Cupa României, they cannot afford a hangover when they travel to Clinceni.
Snagov will have to wait another year to win this trophy.
Who are Academica Clinceni?
I was both relieved and disappointed that the history of Academica Clinceni is quite short and simple. I am becoming used to reading through huge sets of complex notes regarding the history of Romanian football clubs, which seem to include several bankruptcies and rebirths.
Academica Clinceni started life in 2005 and the club's original name was CS Buftea; a name they held from 2005 to 2009. From 2009 to 2013 the club was known as ACS Buftea, before becoming a tad more adventurous and changing to FC Clinceni for the 2013/2014 season. In the following season, the club once more changed their name to FC Academica Argeș. Finally, in June 2015 the club renamed themselves as FC Academica Clinceni.
The changes in name were not altogether frivolous. The changes in name coincided with the club relocating. Buftea, the original home of the football club, is a small town north-west of Bucharest and roughly 30km from Snagov. The town is home to approximately 20,000 people. Clinceni is to the south-west of Bucharest and is almost 60km from Snagov. To drive from Snagov to Clinceni, one must skirt the edge of the capital or brave the drive through the middle of the city. Traffic jams in Bucharest are quite annoying so I would be tempted to give the city a wide berth and take a more scenic route through the countryside.
So far, Snagov, Buftea and Clinceni are all a part of Ilfov County, but the change in name to FC Academica Argeș coincided with the club moving to Pitești, a city in Argeș County and roughly 150km from Snagov. My main memory from Argeș County is visiting Curtea de Argeș, and you can see some of the stunning pictures I took here, in my Romania article.
Like Snagov, Clinceni is a commune comprising multiple villages. The commune of Clinceni has three villages; Clinceni, Olteni and Ordoreanu. As of 2002, the population of the commune was less than 5,000.
Since their creation, Clinceni have spent their time either in Liga 2 or Liga 3. In the 2011/2012 season they were promoted back to Liga 2 having had one season their a few years prior in which they were immediately relegated back to Liga 3. Since the 2012/2013 season Clinceni have finished in the top-six each year with just one blip where they finished 14th. It appears that Academica Clinceni are a solid Liga 2 side.
It's difficult to separate the two clubs as they both have excellent home and away records; both clubs have picked up exactly half their points at home and half away. Snagov are unbeaten, but Clinceni have a much better goal difference. It should be noted that their superior goal difference is mostly the result of one 7-0 win earlier in the season.
The two clubs also have very young squads with an average age of under 25. Both clubs also score a significant proportion of their goals late in the game. I blogged previously that most of Snagov's goals come in the second-half and the same applies to Clinceni.
I expect that Snagov will be satisfied with a draw from this game, as they go into the match with a two-point lead over their promotion rivals. The main objective is to not let Clinceni get the win and go above them.
I really don't know what to predict for the match. I thought there would be plenty of goals in the game at Craiova and was proven wrong. I think we will see a score-draw in Clinceni, but I'm obviously hoping Snagov can earn all three points.
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Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.