FC Dinamo 1948 Bucuresti booked their place in the UEFA Cup Round of 32 as a goal in each half from Claudiu Niculescu secured a hard-fought victory over Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Romania.
Niculescu took the honours but only after his side had recovered from the setback of Sergej Barbarez's opening goal for a Leverkusen team who were seeking their first Group B success in their third outing. The veteran Bosnia-Herzegovnian struck on the break on 22 minutes, heading in a Paul Freier cross.
However, Dinamo continued in the form that has brought them an eleven-point lead at the top of Divizia A, and were level before half-time. After surviving a spell of pressure from the visitors, the hosts equalised through Romanian international Niculescu's speculative low shot from outside the area that flew past Jörg Butt. It revived hopes of a second win in as many group-stage home matches.
Dinamo keeper Uladzimir Hayeu was forced into action after half-time, blocking an effort from Simon Rolfes. Then Barbarez, who was looking the man most likely to unpick a defence, had a header parried by Hayeu. Despite allowing Dinamo the territorial initiative, though, the Bundesliga outfit had been fairly untroubled until the 74th minute when Ioan Ganea broke down the left to cross for his strike partner Niculescu to score. The same player may then have had a third for Dinamo but his stoppage-time free-kick was saved by Butt.
While Mircea Rednic's men progress to the knockout rounds with a game to spare – their 14 December trip to Tottenham Hotspur FC – Leverkusen must beat Beşiktaş JK in Germany on the same night to advance as the third-placed qualifier.