FC Steaua Bucuresti progressed to the knockout stages with consummate ease after inflicting a fourth consecutive UEFA Cup Group C defeat on Halmstads BK at the Ghencea stadium.
Goals from Mirel Radoi, Dorin Goian and Constantin Iacob did the damage in a game that the Romanian side dominated, creating countless goalscoring opportunities. The visitors created a number of chances themselves, but ineffectual finishing put paid to their hopes of a first group stage win.
Radoi stunned Halmstads goalkeeper Marcus Sahlman on eleven minutes, drilling home a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area. The visitors almost responded immediately, but Tommy Jönsson's header was acrobatically tipped over by Steaua goalkeeper Vasili Khomutovski.
On 24 minutes, Sahlman tipped another Iacob header over the bar, while at the other end, Patrik Ingelsten fired wide. In added time at the end of the first-half, Eduardo Delani squandering a gilt-edged opportunity to draw the visitors level.
The wayward shooting continued early in the second half as first Delani fired wide for Halmstads from distance, before Radoi and then Mihai Nesu missed the target with long-range efforts at the other end as Steaua sought to double their advantage.
However, they did not have to wait long to do so as moments later Goian headed in Gabriel Bostina's corner from close range. Ingelsten then missed from the edge of the penalty area at the other end as Halmstads continued to waste precious opportunities.
They were made to pay for their profligacy with 19 minutes left when Iacob drilled a low shot beyond Sahlman. The hosts might have added a fourth when Nicolae Dica saw a close-range header held by Sahlman before Florin Lovin was denied by the busy goalkeeper with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but it mattered little as the Romanian side sealed their progress.
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