Steaua Bucharest edge towards knockout stages of Europa League after Group E win over Molde
Steaua Bucharest all but secured their passage from Group E of the Europa League with a 2-1 victory over Molde.
Last Updated: 08/11/12 8:47pm
Club president Gigi Becali's promised team-sheet, announced yesterday, proved to be slightly off but the side head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf put out did the job thanks to first-half goals from Alexandru Chipciu and Iasmin Latovlevici.
Daniel Chukwa got one back for the hosts 10 minutes into the second half but they rarely threatened an equaliser, and Steaua are now six points clear of third-placed FC Copenhagen, who lost 2-0 at home to Stuttgart tonight.
After a slow start, Steaua took the lead in the 21st minute with Chipcui finding the net with a left-footed finish.
Rocha Adi spurned a chance to double to advantage moments later with too little power in his shot to trouble Ole Soderberg, but the second goal would come eight minutes before the break.
Cristian Tanase played the ball for Latovlevici to drill the ball home from the edge of the area.
Molde had been restricted to a couple of openings for Etzaz Hussain in the first half, with both shots off target, but they started the second 45 minutes much more brightly.
Daniel Berg Hestad was the first to engage visiting goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu but he could not get a strong enough connection on his close-range effort.
Chukwa had no such trouble two minutes later, however, finishing neatly from Mattias Mostrom's assist.
Molde had their tails up, but could not capitalise as Mostrom shot straight at the goalkeeper from Magnus Eikrem's corner.
Steaua were soon back on the attack, with Soderberg called on to tip Mihai Costea's effort around the post before Lukas Szukala headed wide.
Chukwa and Jo Inge Berget had further chances for Molde but both missed the target, while Tanase spurned the chance to finish off the Norwegians when he blazed wide late on.