Steaua claim Romanian title with win at Universitatea

Steaua Bucharest clinched their 25th Romanian league title and a place in next season’s Champions League second qualifying round with a 1-0 win at Universitatea Cluj on Thursday, according to 1986 European Cup winners moved on to 74 points with three games left for an unassailable 10-point lead over second-placed Petrolul Ploiesti.

Midfielder Andrei Prepelita headed the winner from Lucian Sanmartean’s corner just before halftime for his third goal of the season, triggering wild celebrations at the Cluj Arena.

Steaua dominated the match and could easily have doubled their lead but missed several golden opportunities.

“It’s a great moment for all Steaua supporters,” the club’s president Helmuth Duckadam told reporters.

The Bucharest-based side can complete a domestic double by beating FC Astra in the Romanian Cup final on May 23.

“We still have to play the cup final and then we’ll start our preparations for the Champions League,” Duckadam said.

A Universitatea supporter ran on to the pitch and tried to hit Steaua’s Cape Verde defender Fernando Varela, who was preparing to take a throw-in midway through the second half, but police reacted quickly and arrested the offender.

The home team finished with 10 men after Ionut Tarnacop was sent off for a second booking when he elbowed Steaua midfielder Adrian Popa in added time.

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