Almost two years past from the moment when I took a trip on Arieșuls’ valley. Yesterday, watching a friendly match between the Romanian champions, CFR Cluj and the little team from second league, Arieșul Turda, I sudently remembered of that trip. But it also remind me of an achievement of this small football team, that lasts for half a century.
Arieșul Turda was founded in 1907 (the same year as CFR!), but only after three decades the team took part at profesional competitions. First, a season in the third tier, but the club fall rapidly back in mediocity. 20 years past as Arieșul returned to the third division. Eventualy, they would have walked through the second, third and fourth leagues, but never managed to promote in the top flight of Romania. So, how you could say that such a team had some performances? In fact, they really had! In the 1960-1961 season they finished 6th in the second division, their best achievement ever in the league format. But in the same year, the team from Transilvania won the Romanian Cup! Yes, that prestigious competition which Steaua, Rapid and Dinamo won several times. Arieșuls’ first opponent was Corvinul Hunedoara. They won 2-0 and walked through the next stage. There, they faced Penicilina Iași, a modest team that stood no chance. The boys from Turda crushed them, 7-1. The quarterfinlas became real. Știința Timișoara was the next obstacle and the second league team did not failed. A 2-1 victory helped the “Red Eagles” to approach a step to the final. Even though in the semifinals UTA was in their way, Arieșul was in an incredible form and they did beat the former Romanian champions. And they did it in a big style: 3-0. What so ever, the match of their dreams became true: Romanian Cup final.
In the final act the club from Turda had to face Rapid București. At a first sight it couldn’t get worse. UTA was a brilliant team in the league system, but Rapid was a Cup specialist. Between 1937 and 1942, the team from Giulești won six consecutive such trophies, a record that nobody repeated until our days. So, Arieșul seemed like it had no chance, but for them it didn’t looked like a threat because this achievement was more than enough. But Rapid was from that time famous for its fluctuant form. They treated Arieșul with superiority and the second league team made one of Romanian Footballs’ biggest surprises: a 2-1 win.
As it was an incredible performance I shall remind the team that brought happiness to the people from Turda: Vasile Suciu, Eugen Pantea, Ioachim Zăhan, Alexandru Vădan, Eugen Luparu, Ion Onacă, Vasile Mărgineanu, Vasile Pârvu, Dionisie Ursu, Gheorghe Băluțiu și Liviu Husar.