Otelul Galati win first Romanian title

GALATI, Romania - Otelul Galati won their first Romanian league title on Sunday with a 2-1 home win over their closest rivals Timisoara to secure a place in next season's Champions League.

Marius Pena scored the winner in the 71st minute to put Otelul four points clear of Timisoara with one game remaining.

The standard of Romanian football has slipped from the days when Steaua Bucharest became the first club from eastern Europe to win the European Cup in 1986 and Galati are the third team to break their title duck after CFR Cluj and Unirea Urziceni.

Galati coach, Romania's most capped player Dorinel Munteanu, has pulled together an effective outfit from little-known youth graduates who have done well through hard work and team spirit after a mid-table finish last year.

"We have waited to finish this championship - it has been a huge stress," Munteanu said. "I am happy and congratulate the team and the supporters who have been alongside us."

Timisoara are now one point ahead of Vaslui in second place and may need to win their final match to secure the runners-up spot and a place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.