'Immense night and heroic game' - Romanian press react to 'speechless' win over Celtic in Champions League

Cluj celebrate a famous win. Picture: SNS
Cluj celebrate a famous win. Picture: SNS
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While Celtic and the Scottish press have been coming to terms with the Scottish champions' exit from the Champions League, Cluj were celebrating a memorable win.

The Romanians were underdogs going into the second-leg at Parkhead after a 1-1 draw in Transylvania. However, they recorded a late 4-3 victory in a topsy turvy encounter.

It was a "landmark" result, according Hot News.

"The Romanian champion had a fearless performance (mostly), playing against a really big team and in a stadium that rose to the expected level.

"An additional element that gives justice to the official from Cluj is the final score. CFR responded with a good game to adversity, did not give up mentally, returning twice, when he needed to score in the second half.

"Regardless of what will happen in the double with Slavia Prague, where it seems now that CFR is a favourite, Dan Petrescu's team have brought Romanian club football back to Europe, through the performance and the result obtained at Celtic Park.

"And for those who enjoy football in the country, yesterday's meeting will remain a landmark result (at least) in recent history. Our country still has things to offer in the sport."

Realitatea called it "a spectacular qualification".

It said: "After 1-1 in Cluj, the Romanian champions made a memorable match, snatching an unexpected victory in a dramatic final and thus ensuring at least their presence in the Europa League groups after a game with a suffocating rhythm."

Romanian football journalist Emanuel Roşu noted that the win was not just huge for Romania but crucial for the club.

He tweeted: "Immense night for Romanian football, with CFR playing a heroic game at Celtic Park tonight. Fantastic game to watch. CFR is through to the Champions League playoff. If they had lost this qualification, the club would have been in a real financial mess.

"Scenes at Celtic Park after CFR's 96th minute winner. Clinical finish from Tucudean, the former Celtic youth trialist who still loves the Scottish champions. CFR's subs and manager Dan Petrescu invade the pitch to celebrate. WHAT A NIGHT!

"Omrani has been IMMENSE FOR CFR tonight. Petrescu's team is now 180 minutes away from getting to te group stage of the Champions League. They've been through insolvency, changed managers and a lot of players, but what they did tonight is really historical for the club.

Vincentiu Mihaiu, writing for Sport, noted the rollercoaster ride for the Cluj fans as well as Brown's "foolishness" to concede the penalty.

"The game had a crazy rhythm," he said. "Transylvanian fans bit their nails and checked their blood pressure at each phase.

"The final of the match was a total siege at the gate of our team, but either the inaccuracy of the Scots, the luck, or the interventions of Arlauskis (goalkeeper) or his defenders made the score remain unchanged until the end."

The club's sports director Bogdan Mara told Digi Sport: "We are speechless! I do not think there has been a match of such intensity in recent years for the Romanian teams!

"We managed to qualify and it's something extraordinary. We are extremely happy, we have shown that it is possible. deposited by everyone in this club. I hope to raise Romanian football from now on."

Cluj manager Dan Petrescu revealed that Romanian football legend Gheorghe Hagi had sent four messages of congratulations despite the ex-Barcelona midfielder criticising Cluj recently.

Leading the team to the Europa League group stages at least will net Petrescu 500,000, but if he can lead them to victory over Slavia Prague in the play-off to reach the Champions League group stages it will rise to a bonus of 1million.