AFC Rapid Bucharesti booked their place in the group stages of the UEFA Cup with a final 2-1 aggregate win against Feyenoord. Mugurel Buga was the hero, heading the decisive goal after 12 minutes of the second leg in the Romanian capital.
Rapid put themselves in a strong position with a 1-1 draw in the Netherlands two weeks ago and proved too organised for Feyenoord on home soil. Erwin Koeman's side enjoyed the lion's share of possession at the Giulesti stadium but were continually wasteful in the final third. Rapid held on to seal a superb 1-0 win on the night and advance past a team who currently sit top of the Eredivisie.
Netherlands striker Dirk Kuijt signalled the visitors' intentions with a stinging early drive which sailed over the bar from 20 metres as Feyenoord dominated. But just 12 minutes into the game Buga stopped the visitors in their tracks, finding enough space in the area to plant his header past goalkeeper Patrick Lodewijks.
Shinji Ono responded almost immediately for the Dutch side but could find no way past an inspired Danut Coman in the Rapid goal. Kuijt and Ono were the home side's chief tormentors during a one-sided first half but they failed to match neat build-up play with the killer touch, and Coman produced a string of fine stops.
Buga, Valentin Badoi and Nicolae Constantin had chances to extend the home side's lead as Feyenoord struggled to get going after the break. Kuijt squandered a headed chance eight minutes from time, and when Coman held Romeo Castelen's late strike the Romanian side knew they were going through.