By beating CSM Oradea in the 4th match of the playoffs finals, Steaua Bucharest successfully defended the trophy in the Superleague of Romania and won the 14th national title in the history of the club.
The fourth game was played in Oradea. In a tight match, Steaua won 6-5 and achieved the crucial third victory in the series for the 1st place (best of 5).
Oradea was dominant in the Superleague from 2006, by winning nine national titles in a row. Last season, “The Stars” from Bucharest (Steaua in Romanian means star) won the Superleague and ended Oradea’s domination. A year later, they made a step further. In 2017. Steaua’s players took all they could. They won a “double crown”. Before the ending of the championship, three weeks ago, in the final game of the Romanian cup, they beat their big rivals from Oradea, who won the trophy in 2016.
Series in 4 games
The playoffs finals started in Bucharest. In the first match, Steaua convincingly beat Oradea– 9-3.
The second game was also played in Steaua’s pool. The champions led 9-4 after the 2nd quarter. It looked like that they will demolish Oradea again. But, in the 3rd period Oradea started climbing back, the guests tightened their defence. Steaua scored only a single goal in the second half. But the hosts managed to keep the advantage and won 10-7.
After two matches in Bucharest, the series moved to Oradea. The hosts won 9-5 in the third game.
The fourth match was very similar to the second. At halftime, Steaua led 6-3, but in the 3rd quarter, the guests ran out of gas. Oradea controlled the match in the second half. Oradea’s goalkeeper Gojko Pijetlovic didn’t let not a single goal in the 3rd and the 4th period, but his teammates didn’t play so well in the attack. They netted only two goals and they couldn’t make a turnaround. At the end, Steaua celebrated the narrow win 6-5.
Promotions and changes
Adria Delgado, the Spaniard who plays for the Brazilian national team, was Steaua’s leader this season, and he was proclaimed the best player of the championship. His teammate Nikola Murisic is the best scorer (100 goals). As expected, Andrei Iosep, Steaua’s head coach, got the trophy for the best coach of the season.
However, a day after the finals, in the focus of the Romanian water polo is Oradea’s coach. The club didn’t extend the contract with Kalman Kadar and immediately found a new coach. Kadar’s successor is Dorin Costras, who had coached Oradea earlier (from 2013 to 2016).
Summary of the season: Steaua – Oradea 7-2
Eight clubs compete in the Romanian water polo league by unusual competition format. Each club plays against each of the others four times, by round-robin system. The league phase ends after 28 rounds. In this season, Steaua took the 1st place in the league part of competition, with 81 points. The players from Bucharest suffered only a single loss. It was in the game against Oradea in the 27th round (8-9). Oradea was the second in the league with 72 points (24 wins and four defeats).
That is one fact more to show that Steaua dominated this season. They beat Oradea 7 times (3 in the League, 1 in the final match of the Cup and 3 in the playoffs. Oradea celebrated just twice (1 in the league 1 in the playoffs). Total score: Steaua – Oradea 7-2!
By the way, in the semifinal series, Steaua did a clean job in three games against Corona Sportul Studentsc (13-8, 17-9, and 14-7). Oradea eliminated Dinamo Bucharest (8-5, 10-9, and 8-5).
Final series (Best of 5)
Steaua Stiorm – CSM Digi Oradea 9-3 (2-0, 3-2, 3-0, 1-1)
Steaua: Delgado 2, Murisic 2, Filipovic, Ianc, Teohari, Busil, Goanta.
Oradea: Gheorghe 2, Radjen.
Steaua Stirom – CSM Digi Oradea 10-7 (5-4, 4-0, 0-1, 1-2)
Steaua: Robu 2, Radoi 2, Delgado 2, Ianc, Murisic, Popescu, Goanta.
Oradea: Negrean 2, Gheorghe, Diaconu, Priotesa, A. Cretu, Radjen.
CSM Digi Oradea – Steaua Stirom 9-5 (3-2, 2-0, 2-1, 2-2)
Oradea: Geogrescu 3, Szabo 2, Gheroghe, Diaconu, Prioteasa, Pavlovic.
Steaua: Filipovic 2, Murisic 2.
CSM Digi Oradea – Steaua Stirom 5-6 (3-4, 0-2, 1-0, 1-0)
Oradea: A. Cretu 2, Pavlovic, Chioveanu, Negrean.
Steaua: Murisic 2, Ghiban, Ianc, Delgado, Radoi.
1929 – 1932 (4 titles): Universitatea Cluj, 1933 Targu Mures, 1934 and 1935: CFR Bucharest, 1936: Targu Mures , 1937: Wasn’t played, 1938 and 1939: Viforul Dacia, 1940: CFR Bucharest, 1941–42: Wasn’t played, 1943 CFR Bucharest, 1944: Wasn’t played, 1945: Targu Mures, 1946 – 1951 (6 titles): ILSA Timisoara, 1952 – 1956 (5 titles): CCA Bucharest, 1957 – 1971 (15 titles): Dinamo Bucharest, 1972: Rapid Bucharest, 1973. and 1974: Dinamo Bucharest, 1975 – 1977 (3 titles): Rapid Bucharest, 1978 – 1980 (3 titles): Dinamo Bucharest, 1981: Rapid Bucharest, 1982 – 1984. (3 titles): Dinamo Bucharest , 1985. and 1986: Crișul Oradea, 1987 – 1990 (4 titles): Dinamo Bucharest, 1990/91 – 1994/95 (5 titles): Steaua Bucharest, 1995/96 – 1999/2000 (5 titles): Dinamo Bucharest, 2000/01 – 2003/04 (4 titles): Rapid Bucharest, 2004/05 and 2005/06: Steaua Bucharest, 2006/07 – 2014/15 (9 titles): CSM Digi Oradea, 2015/16. and 2016/17: Steaua Bucharest.
Dinamo 32, Steaua 14, Rapid 13, CSM Oradea 9, ILSA Timisoara 6, CCA Bucharest 5, CFR Bucharest 4 , Universitatea Cluj 4, Crisul Oradea 2, Targu Mures 2, Viforul Dacia 2, AS Oradea 1