Feyenoord face a tough second-leg trip to Romania after they were held 1-1 by FC Rapid Bucuresti in the first round of the UEFA Cup tonight.
Feyenoord, the 2001/02 UEFA Cup winners who have won all four of their Dutch Eredivisie matches this season, went in front in the 40th minute after a fine strike from their star man, Dirk Kuijt, only to see a 74th-minute penalty from Rapid substitute Ciprian Vasilache give the visitors the crucial away goal ahead of the return in a fortnight.
The Rotterdam side may have played the smarter and more attacking football early on, but the first shot of note came from Rapid's Emanoil Badoi - a 17-metre attempt blocked by home defender André Bahia. Kuijt gave an indication of his prowess with a right-footed effort after eight minutes, although Danut Coman in the Rapid goal was able to gather the ball as attacking players closed in.
The Dutch international was not to be denied as half-time approached, however, as Kuijt scored from just outside the box. The striker could have sent Feyenoord in two goals to the good two minutes later yet he lost his composure when five metres from goal and a glorious chance was passed up.
Home goalkeeper Patrick Lodewijks and opposite number Coman both made vital interventions before the game turned scrappy, Feyenoord duo Serginho Greene and Sebastián Pardo both being shown yellow cards. Greene also played a part in Rapid's equaliser, handling in the area to concede a penalty which Vasilache dispatched into the bottom right-hand corner of the Feyenoord net.