Niedermeier denies Steaua
Georg Niedermeier's late header saw Stuttgart deny Steaua Bucharest a first win over German opposition in 55 years.
Last Updated: 20/09/12 8:30pm
Georg Niedermeier's late header saw Stuttgart deny Steaua Bucharest a first win over German opposition in 55 years in this Europa League Group E opener.
The Germans had got off to a great start when Vedad Ibisevic headed them in front early on, but the Romanians quickly cancelled that out through Alexandru Chipciu.
Raul Rusescu thought he had made history for the visitors with his penalty 10 minutes from time, but Niedermeier ensured the spoils were shared.
Stuttgart have made a stuttering start to their Bundesliga campaign, but they had the perfect opening here as they took the lead in just the fifth minute.
Hungarian playmaker Tamas Hajnal was the creator, producing a pinpoint cross to allow Bosnian forward Ibisevic to head home.
But the home side's lead lasted barely a minute as the Romanian league leaders hit back.
Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich came rushing out of his goal to try and intercept a long ball, but he failed to get there to allow Adrian Popa to tee up Chipciu for the easiest of finishes.
The home side remained dangerous as they looked to recover from their keeper's awful error.
Hajnal was just off target with a strike from distance, while Christian Genter failed to work the Steaua keeper after more excellent work by the influential Hajnal.
Tunay Torun and Niedermeier also worked Ciprian Tatarusanu, while Ibisevic and Francisco Javier Rodriguez should have done better after Hajnal had set up chances for them.
Ibisevic headed over early in the second half before Caucau somehow managed to nod against the bar with an effort from almost point-blank range as Stuttgart continued to press.
At the other end Rusescu saw his shot saved by Ulreich, while Stefan Nikolic fired wastefully wide as the Romanians served notice of their own attacking threat.
Caucau was again denied by the woodwork after 68 minutes, and Gentner could not convert the follow up as Stuttgart's frustrations increased.
And their profligacy in front of goal was punished when Rusescu fired home after Rodriguez had given away a penalty for a foul on Popa with just 10 minutes to play.
But the Germans managed to salvage a point as Niedermeier glanced home from close range in the 85th minute.