Steaua opened the score with Banel Nicolita’s goal in the fourth minute and dominated the first half of the first leg match within the UEFA Cup Quarterfinals. After the break, Rapid brought the equaliser in 47' by Viorel Moldovan, but missed a great opportunity in the last minute. This result leaves Steaua with the lead away goal advantage for the second leg.
The Rapid coach Razvan Lucescu had to deal with the absence of Maldarasanu and Karamian, both unavailable. On the other side, Steaua coach Cosmin Olaroiu had to manage in the absence of Victoras Iacob, with a shoulder injury, and Gabriel Bostina suspended. However, the goalkeeper Carlos was among the Steaua’s first 11, despite fears of not playing tonight.
Whereas Rapid is definitely the favourite at the sports betting houses, Steaua is seen as the winner of UEFA Cup by 67 per cent of the subjects surveyed on the UEFA site.
15,000 tickets sold immediately and special machines that read tickets electronically were installed in front of each turnstile to prevent supporters with counterfeits entering the stadium.
This is the first duel between two football Romanian teams in European championships. The second leg will take place on April 6.