PSV Eindhoven replaced CFR 1907 Cluj at the top of Group K after a hard-fought victory.
Otman Bakkal's ninth-minute header looked to have paved the way for an enjoyable evening of UEFA Europa League football for PSV but it proved something of a false dawn. The hosts dominated the first half, hit the post twice and created a succession of chances yet the second period was very different as CFR reasserted themselves even if they could not quite breach the PSV defence.
That back line had little to do early on as the Dutch side soon forged ahead. Balázs Dzsudzsák curled in a delightful cross from the left and Bakkal dispatched a powerful header beyond Nuno Claro. CFR almost levelled immediately but Andreas Isaksson tipped Juan Culio's low drive behind. At the other end Ola Toivonen was millimetres away from doubling his side's lead on 19 minutes as a low Dzsudzsák centre eluded him.
Ibrahim Afellay then smacked the outside of the post with a rising drive from the edge of the box. Nuno Claro then made a remarkable double save from Danko Lazović, touching his header on to the same upright then keeping out the rebound while prone on the turf. Shortly before the break, Dzsudzsák put in yet another delightful cross which Toivonen headed wide. The same two players then combined again, but this time Toivonen fired over.
CFR came out fighting when play resumed, forcing three corners in quick succession and creating an opening for Cadú after 56 minutes, with Isaksson stooping to block. The goalkeeper then brilliantly parried Lacina Traoré's close-range header as PSV's grip on the game loosened. The Romanian side continued to pin Fred Rutten's side back, and Traoré nodded narrowly wide, then missed the target when clean through with 13 minutes left as PSV held on.