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Solid Steaua see off Dinamo

Published: Tuesday 6 August 2013, 22.37CET
FC Steaua Bucureşti 1-1 FC Dinamo Tbilisi (agg: 3-1)
Iasmin Latovlevici's early strike made sure the Romanian title holders booked a safe passage to the play-offs.
by Paul Zaharia
from National Arena
Solid Steaua see off Dinamo
Steaua midfielder Cristian Tănase (right) looks to escape the attentions of Dinamo's Elguja Grigalashvili ©Razvan Pasarica
Published: Tuesday 6 August 2013, 22.37CET

Solid Steaua see off Dinamo

FC Steaua Bucureşti 1-1 FC Dinamo Tbilisi (agg: 3-1)
Iasmin Latovlevici's early strike made sure the Romanian title holders booked a safe passage to the play-offs.

FC Steaua Bucureşti progressed to the UEFA Champions League play-offs after they held FC Dinamo Tbilisi 1-1 at home to complete a 3-1 aggregate success in the third qualifying round.

Laurenţiu Reghecampf's side took an early lead through defender Iasmin Latovlevici and, despite Ustaritz's equaliser on the night, they never looked in great danger of surrendering their overall advantage. The Georgian champions pressed forward in the second half but were unable to reel in a determined Steaua team.

It did not take the hosts long to hit their stride at the National Arena, Latovlevici opening the scoring following a delightful pass from influential Steaua captain Alexandru Bourceanu on six minutes.

Dinamo had goalkeeper Giorgi Loria to thank for keeping the score at 1-0; the 27-year-old saved brilliantly from Cristian Tănase before denying Federico Piovaccari with an even more spectacular stop just before half-time.

Dušan Uhrin Jr's men had chances of their own in that first period but had to wait until the 48th minute for the equaliser. Just moments after home custodian Ciprian Tătăruşanu had foiled Jaba Dvali, Xisco's corner was met by fellow Spaniard Ustaritz, who guided a firm header into the net.

That would be the end of the scoring, though, as Steaua shut up shop to see out the tie. The Romanian title holders now turn their attentions to Friday's play-off draw, where they will find out who stands between them and a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Last updated: 05/09/13 0.03CET

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