"Antrenorul vorbește cu portarul în a doua repriză a meciului."
Translation:The coach speaks with the goal-keeper in the second half of the game.
Another user explained this rule of the extra "a" article in another comment. I would post the link to that post, but I can't find the link. Here is what I copied into my Romanian "cheat sheet:"
Both Definiteness AND Adjacency required to avoid use of article al/ai/a/ale: In other words, the article is avoided when the possessed noun has both a definite article AND the possessed noun is placed right before the possessor.
If either of these two conditions is not met, then the possessive article appears:
o carte a copilului (lit. "a book of the child") (the possessed noun does not have a definite article); cartea frumoasă a copilului (lit. "the beautiful book of the child") (the possessed noun is not placed right before the possessor); o carte frumoasă a copilului (lit. "a beautiful book of the child") (the possessed noun does not have a definite article and is not placed right before the possessor).
My apologies for not linking to the original author of these examples as I did not save the link to his wonderful post.
Why is the second "a" used here? Wouldn't "meciului" alone express the same thing?
It's the possessive article. It means that the half belongs to the game. Similar to "of"in the English translation.
When does one need to use the possessive article in addition to the genitive definite?
I'm not entirely sure what the rule is. I think in this case it's because the noun determined ("repriza") has another attribute ("a doua") in addition to our genitive noun. Without that you wouldn't need the possessive article:
"Antrenorul vorbește cu portarul în repriza meciului" (doesn't make as much sense as a sentence, just illustrating the point).
You also need it when the noun is part of the predicate:
"Casa este a profesorului" ("The house belongs to the teacher"). In this case the predicate is "este a profesorului"
Compare that to the situation where "profesorului" is just an attribute of the subject:
"Casa profesorului este veche" ("The professor's house is old"). No article there.
That actually makes it a lot clearer. Since these are all masculine nouns, I assume this possessive article does not vary by the gender of the noun it governs.
it does vary. Here all nouns are feminine :) (repriza, casa). Do not confuse the owner with the owned object. Compare: Câinele profesorului este roșu. Câinele roșu este al profesorului. Cărțile sunt ale mele. Banii sunt ai tăi.
"Antrenorul vorbește cu portarul în pauza meciului", now it makes sense (just to give a better example, because you said it didn't make sense - but it did, actually your sentence was quite ok, it is just our brain playing tricks with teh semantics, because we know the match has two rounds, but the sentence was perfectly right in romanian)
It is not "a second" "a", it is just a coincidence that there is one more "a" from the numeral. Compare: ”antrenorul vorbește cu portarul in camera roșie a stadionului”. As Ovidiu said, this is how the possessive is formed in Romanian language.
There is a second a. I specified the second a, because I did not understand its grammatical function within the sentence. When asking such a question, I try always to use a simple description of whether the item is in the word or sentence, so that the person who provides me with the answer can simply describe the grammatical function from a blank slate, as happened so helpfully here.
Well, sorry, bad English on my side. From this perspective you are totally right, the sentence contains two "a" words :) and you were referring to the second one.