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Oprica strike rescues Steaua

Published: Thursday 14 August 2003, 23.02CET
FC Neman Grodno 1-1 FC Steaua Bucuresti Daniel Oprica's goal gives former European champions parity.
Published: Thursday 14 August 2003, 23.02CET

Oprica strike rescues Steaua

FC Neman Grodno 1-1 FC Steaua Bucuresti Daniel Oprica's goal gives former European champions parity.

A last-gasp strike from Daniel Oprica handed FC Steaua Bucuresti a lifeline in their clash with Belarussian side FC Neman Grodno.

Four players missing
Dzmitry Dolia had given Neman a deserved lead with his 70th-minute effort but Oprica saved the day for the injury-hit Romanians, who were without four key players in Martin Tudor, Tiberiu Lang, Adrian Nega and Daniel Balan.

Early chance for Neman
Claudiu Raduceanu missed a couple of half-chances for the visitors who packed the midfield, denying Neman space for their intricate passing game. However, the hosts went close to a goal after 43 minutes when Eduard Boltrushevich's low free-kick flew inches wide of the post.

Dolia strikes
Neman eventually took the lead on 70 minutes through substitute Dolia. The forward finished from close range after collecting the ball from Dzmitry Gintau. Steaua looked stunned and did not look like scoring until the final few seconds when Oprica headed home a Florentin Dumitru free-kick.

Picurke relieved
After the game Steaua manager Victor Picurke confessed his side were lucky to escape with a draw. "We played badly," said Picurke. "We could not concentrate and failed to defend well. However, we scored a goal and that leaves us in a position to go through."

'Should have won'
His opposite number, Sergei Solodovnikov, was disappointed with the result. "We had four great chances but converted only one," he said. "That is why we only drew tonight when we should have won."

Last updated: 01/02/12 8.47CET

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