Never heard of Cluj? Roma certainly have now

September 17, 2008

No longer clujing at straws?

Anyone underestimating Champions League debutants CFR Cluj will now have to think again after the Romanians beat AS Roma 2-1 away in their Group A opener.

Having a smaller club make an impact is great for the competition after years of domination by the big sides. BATE Borisov of Belarus and Denmark’s Aalborg are two other little-known teams in this season’s group stages and they can only be spurred on by Cluj’s heroics in Rome.

Can any of these three sides make it through to the knockout stages? If Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco made the final some years back then why can’t an even smaller side reach the last 16?

Zenit St Petersburg, once unheard of in European circles, are UEFA Cup and Super Cup champions remember.

Roma will struggle to beat Cluj away given their stuttering form and no side, not even Real Madrid, will fancy the trip to Belarus.

I’d love to think the gap between the haves and the have-nots is getting smaller. But it might just be a one-off. Cluj host rampaging Chelsea next.

PHOTO: CFR Cluj’s Juan Culio (C) celebrates with his team mates Yssouf Kone (L) and Sebastian Dubarbier after scoring against AS Roma during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Rome September 16, 2008. REUTERS/Tony Gentile


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Why not hahahahahaha

Posted by Lec Neli | Report as abusive

Well what can I say about Cluj? Perhaps one of many reason that why football is a beautiful game.

I’m happy many of the Argentine players in the team. That goal from Culio simply marvelous! beautiful! sensational!

Now everyone in the world will know jusu a bit more about them. But most importantly, other will take notice of this and take them seriously. That is for sure.

Anyway, enough from me. What about your opinion/comment about their performance? How far do you think they can go? 8/09/ucl-group-stage-round-1-thread.html

Posted by john | Report as abusive

I was not only impressed by the result, I was also impressed by the way in which Cluj played and handled the game. They were 1-0 down, and everyone expected 4-0 or 5-0 for Roma. But guess what? From there on, there was only one team on the field. Besides the two incredible goals, they also had a crossbar, and many more beautiful actions. they shot an amazing 16 times, out of which 9 were on target if I remember correctly. Impressive for a team that plays its first match ever in UCL, away against a big side like Roma. Cluj have won me over, I hope they go through (if they continue playing like this, they certainly will).

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

OK, so no one has heard of Cluj and they walked into Rome and beat a hurting team, one that’s down for many reasons. A good day and a great result. If they get a result against Chelsea, then we have something. 09/champions-league-cluj-shocks-roma.htm l

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Au jucat super CFR Cluj, bravo lor
Sper ca va invinge cu Chelsea !
Keep the good work CFR Cluj

Posted by dupa2beri | Report as abusive

Great result for Cluj. Have to admit, until the draw I hadn’t heard of them either and you can bet when the those balls came out of those bowls, Roma were thinking, “Hmm, 6 points there then!”
Gotta love this game!

Posted by Rik | Report as abusive

enjoy for the next show of cluj team

Posted by Octavian | Report as abusive

He, did you guys know that CFR Cluj won for the first time the Romanian Championship this last season? They may just be a good shot for betting on.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Uhhh, what? Valencia are not a small club. They are, in fact, a massive club, and when they were regularly challenging for the league and going to the finals of the CL they weren’t underdogs – they were legitimately one of the best teams on the continent (around the turn of the millennium, for example).

Posted by Josh | Report as abusive

Of course Im not saying Valencia are small, I am just saying that 10 years or so ago they were not the type of club you would have expected to get to two finals. They did it and perception changed. Cluj have a similar challenge

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

Cluj have actually played in the Romanian first League for only a few years. Four or five years ago they were playing in the inferior leagues. I guess the Chelsea match will be their test, and if they manage to get a good result … they are on the map.

Posted by Mark Poster | Report as abusive