Nagjee Trophy: Rapid takes on Paranaense

The Romanians would be handicapped by the absence of their striker Madalin Martin, who is one of their best players here.

Rapid’s technical director Mihail Ianovschi (right) is upbeat about his team winning against Atletico Paranaense and advancing to the semi-finals.   -  S. Ramesh Kurup

Rapid Bucharest of Romania, with just one point from two games, faces Brazil’s Atletico Paranaense in a must-win encounter in the Sait Nagjee Trophy International football tournament here on Saturday.

With four points, the Brazilians, who have come here with their under-21 squad, are much better placed.

“Paranaense is a very good team, technically very strong,” said Rapid’s technical director Mihail Ianovschi. “But we are confident of winning against them and to advance to the semi-finals.”

The Romanians would be handicapped by the absence of their striker Madalin Martin, who is one of their best players here. He has to sit out after collecting a red card in the match against Watford, which saw his team lost 0-2, despite playing very well.

“Yes, we had a good game, and were beaten by two goals resulting off corner kicks,” Ianovschi said. “We also had fought well in our first game, Volyn Lutsk.”

Though his team has collected the highest number of cards in the tournament, he said he had no complaints about the refereeing.

“We really have enjoyed playing in this tournament,” he said. “The facilities are good and it is nice to play in front of good crowds.”

Rapid player Colomer Robuste said he was pleased with the playing field and the stadium.

“It has been a great experience for us here,” he said. “We would like to come back here again.”

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