FC Dinamo 1948 Bucuresti have a great chance of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time after coming away from S.S. Lazio with a draw and an away goal.
Three red cards
Ionel Danciulescu headed Dinamo into a 22nd-minute lead but although Tommaso Rocchi missed a penalty for the home side, Massimo Mutarelli's equaliser ensured Lazio avoided defeat. However, they have a tough task in Bucharest in the second leg of this third qualifying round tie two weeks today and will be without both their goalscorer and Valon Behrami, who were sent off along with Dinamo's Lucian Goian.
Lazio started positively but Bogdan Lobont stopped Goran Pandev's dangerous free-kick on four minutes and Rocchi's close-range effort a quarter of an hour in. It was Dinamo, however, who went ahead when Danciulescu headed in Cristian Pulhac's cross from the left. The home side reacted well and Lobont was forced into action by two Cristian Ledesma free-kicks, a Rocchi shot and a long-range effort from Aleksandar Kolarov in quick succession. Lazio had a 36th-minute penalty when Florin Bratu handled inside the box but Lobont dived to his right to palm away Rocchi's effort. If that was not enough, Lazio central defenders Emilson Cribari and Guglielmo Stendardo were injured during the first half meaning full-backs Lionel Scaloni and Luciano Zauri were moved into the middle.
Substitute right-back Lorenzo De Silvestri played a decisive role in Lazio's leveller as his precise cross from the right was headed in by midfielder Mutarelli. Four minutes earlier Lazio's veteran goalkeeper Marco Ballotta had made an invaluable save from a powerful left-footed shot by Danciulescu. Pandev missed the target from close range after a good pass by Simone Del Nero in the 68th minute and Lobont then did well to stop a Ledesma effort dangerously deflected by Rocchi. But from then on the game was marred by three red cards; first Behrami went on 73 minutes for a foul, he was joined by Mutarelli after his second booking with three minutes left and Goian followed in similar fashion.