SBV Vitesse came out of the Giulesti stadium in Bucharest with a deserved 1-0 victory against FC Rapid Bucuresti in their UEFA Cup first round second-leg encounter, qualifying for the second round with a 2-1 aggregate win.
Peeters the hero
Vitesse’s towering striker Bob Peeters was the hero of the night, as he capped a powerful performance with a well-taken goal on 62 minutes as Rapid aimed to defend their slender away goal advantage.
Having equalised in the closing stages in the first leg, Rapid were reluctant to commit men forward and Vitesse certainly had the better of the first half as they took the initiative from the kick-off. With some ferocious tackling and spells of sustained possession, the visitors looked the more likely to break the deadlock.
However, the quality of crossing in the final third let them down, as Rapid defenders Vasile Maftei and Adrian Iensci proved themselves adept at dealing with Peeters in the early stages.
The best opportunity fell to Mathew Amoah with only 12 minutes gone. The tireless Tim Cornelisse found space on the right and whipped in a dangerous cross but with the goal gaping, Amoah headed over – clashing heads with Maftei in the process.
While Rapid defended well, they could not break down Vitesse as they headed forward. They struggled to work the ball through a tight midfield, and too often resorted to the long ball - a tactic that played into the hands of Dejan Stefanovic and his central defensive partner Marian Zeman.
The second half saw Vitesse continue were they let off. Amoah continued to look lively, and after volleying narrowly over, went even closer with his next effort – heading against the bar. Then Peeters struck to ease Vitesse’s nerves, placing a powerful left-footed drive inside the post from the edge of the box.
Rapid were spurred into action by the goal, but took their time to commit numbers forward. They continued to rely on the long ball but, other than a few half chances, never looked like equalising.