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National scrape past plucky Tirana

Published: Friday 30 August 2002, 0.05CET
FC National Bucuresti 2-2 FK Tirana (Agg: 3-2) National hang on to qualify.

Match statistics

FC National 2000 BucurestiTirana

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target2
 
2
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Friday 30 August 2002, 0.05CET

National scrape past plucky Tirana

FC National Bucuresti 2-2 FK Tirana (Agg: 3-2) National hang on to qualify.

FC National Bucuresti 2-2 SK Tirana (National win 3-2 on aggregate)
FC National Bucuresti scraped through to the UEFA Cup first round tonight despite being held to a draw at home against the Albanian side SK Tirana tonight.

Exciting finish
After winning the first leg 1-0 in unconvincing fashion, National were out to make amends in front of their own supporters but failed to produce any cohesion as Tirana fought all the way to the belated final whistle in an exciting finish that would have seen them progress with one more goal.

Unmarked
National did dominate the early part of the game but were caught out in the eighth minute when Fjodor Xhafa crossed from the left for an unmarked Eldorado Merkoci to open the scoring with a well-placed header.

Shocked
The Romanian team seemed shocked and, had it not been for the probing of their captain, Sabin Ilie, who pushed his team forward, the damage could have been worse. Ilie was involved in all National's best moments; his header was superbly turned away by Tirana's goalkeeper Egbo Ndubuisi in the 18th minute and he hit the crossbar with a free-kick moments later.

Pressure tells
National's pressure eventually told and they equalised in the 30th minute when Sergiu Radu's pass put Ilie through who equalised with a cute lob over Ndubuisi. The goalkeeper then kept Tirana in the match as National piled on the pressure. First he saved from another Ilie header in the 37th minute and then he denied a powerful shot from Radu two minutes later.

Worthy effort
National went into their shells after the break and failed to recreate the pressure they had had at the end of the first period. It was not until the 60th minute that they produced a worthy effort which screamed into the top corner from Radu's boot to put the home side 2-1 up.

Panic
National now appeared to be home and dry but substitute Daniel Zaccanti instilled panic into the home ranks with a wonderful equaliser after Tirana had put everything into attack. Suddenly, National began to panic and Tirana began to believe and they came close on several occasions to grabbing the all-important equaliser that would have sent them through on away goals.

Zaccanti agony
Zaccanti almost became Tirana's hero of the night when a spectacular overhead kick sailed narrowly wide in the final minute. Even then National were forced to hang on for six minutes of injury time before the referee put them out of their misery.

Difficult game
"I expected such a difficult game," National's coach, Walter Zenga, said. "I said after we won 1-0 in Albania, that nothing is decided. And that's how it was. I congratulate my boys for the commitment, we saw what went wrong and we'll try to make it better for the first round."

Last updated: 30/08/02 1.46CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2002/matches/round=1625/match=69781/postmatch/report/index.html#national+scrape+past+plucky+tirana

Lineups

fc naţional bucureşti

FC Naţional Bucureşti

tirana

Tirana

99
VintilaBogdan Vintila (GK)
1
EgboNdubuisi Egbo (GK)
4
CurtTiberiu Curt
Yellow Card85
2
SinaElvis Sina
7
PetrescuDan Petrescu
3
DabullaRezart Dabulla
Substitution89
8
CaramarinGheorghe-Gabrie Caramarin
5
VeenhofJan Hendrik Veenhof
10
Sabin IlieSabin Ilie (C)
Goal30
Substitution90
8
BulkuErvin Bulku
Yellow Card45
Substitution64
16
ProdanDaniel Prodan
10
MerkociEldorado Merkoci
Goal8
18
O.PetreOvidiu Petre
11
FortuziIndrit Fortuzi (C)
20
MarinPetre Marin
19
LiciSuad Lici
21
OlahAdrian Olah
Substitution77
20
Fjodor XhafaFjodor Xhafa
Substitution80
28
ComanGigel Coman
21
PatushiSaimir Patushi
Yellow Card83
29
Se.RaduSergiu Radu
Goal60
Substitution75
25
Rudi VataRudi Vata
Yellow Card14

Substitutes

12
PopaMarius Popa (GK)
12
HidiIsli Hidi (GK)
9
IacobVictoraş Iacob
Substitution75
9
BulkuSokol Bulku
Substitution80
15
NemtanuIoan Nemtanu
Substitution90
14
HaliliMahir Halili
Substitution89
23
KecaBoris Keca
Substitution77
24
ZaccantiDaniele Zaccanti
Substitution64
Goal68
11
MicicDejan Micic
7
Alban TafajAlban Tafaj
14
MaeMarius Mae
15
AgolliAnsi Agolli
24
VajdaJamos Vajda
16
HajdariGentian Hajdari

Coach

Walter Zenga (ITA) Enver Hadziabdic (BIH)

Referee

Mika Peltola (FIN)

Assistant referees

Taavi Sulander (FIN), Ari Turkki (FIN)

Fourth official

Jari Maisonlahti (FIN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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