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Steaua and AEK Larnaca go head to head

Published: Friday 2 December 2011, 22.05CET
Both FC Steaua Bucureşti and AEK Larnaca FC have to finish Group J on a winning note as they go into matchday six needing second-placed Maccabi Haifa FC to slip up at home.
Steaua and AEK Larnaca go head to head
Steaua's Raul Rusescu celebrates scoring against Schalke on matchday five ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

SteauaAEK Larnaca

Goals scored9
Attempts on target26
Attempts off target45
Fouls committed135
Yellow cards21
Red cards4

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P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 29/11/2017 12:56 CET
Published: Friday 2 December 2011, 22.05CET

Steaua and AEK Larnaca go head to head

Both FC Steaua Bucureşti and AEK Larnaca FC have to finish Group J on a winning note as they go into matchday six needing second-placed Maccabi Haifa FC to slip up at home.

FC Steaua Bucureşti and AEK Larnaca FC both need a win on matchday six to have any chance of finishing in the top two in UEFA Europa League Group J.

• With both sides set to lose out in the event of finishing level on points with second-placed Maccabi Haifa FC, only a winner in Bucharest would have a chance of going through and even then they need Haifa to drop points against section winners FC Schalke 04.

Previous meetings
• Steaua earned a 1-1 draw when the sides met on matchday two. The Cypriot side struck first through Miljan Mrdaković in the 59th minute before Mihai Costea responded six minutes later for Steaua, who had Pablo Brandán sent off with eight minutes to go.

• The result prompted the resignation of Steaua's Israeli coach Roni Levy.

• Steaua's five games against Cypriot sides ended W3 D2 L0 (W1 D1 L0 at home).

• One of the two sides that merged to form AEK in 1994, EPA Larnaca FC, took on AS Victoria Bucureşti in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup first round, losing 1-0 at home and 3-0 away.

Match background
• Steaua have the worst disciplinary record in the group stage, having had four players sent off in Group J.

• The Romanian club became the first home side to win at the new Stadionul Naţional when they beat Haifa 4-2 on matchday four; Rapid and FC Oţelul Galaţi had previously lost two games each at the new stadium in Bucharest, while the national team had been held to two draws.

• Steaua are unbeaten in eight European home games since a 1-0 loss to Fenerbahçe SK in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage. They have alternated draws and defeats in those eight fixtures, and are due another tie against AEK if that pattern is to continue.

Team facts
• Narcis Răducan, now Steaua sporting director, has played for both clubs. As an attacking midfielder the Romanian had two stints with Steaua (1995-96 and 1997/98) and spent 2005/06 with AEK.

• Steaua coach Ilie Stan, who replaced Levy after matchday two, spent the bulk of his playing career as a midfielder with the club (1987 to 1995 and 1997), venturing abroad to represent KSV Cercle Brugge, AEK's Cypriot rivals AEL Limassol FC and Israeli sides Hapoel Petach-Tikva FC and Hapoel Tzafririm FC. He was briefly assistant coach of Romania in 2002 and 2004, and led FC Victoria Brăneşti to Romania's top flight with successive promotions before resigning in April 2011.

• In Steaua's 1991/92 UEFA Cup first round tie against another Cypriot side, Anorthosis Famagusta FC, Stan scored in the 2-1 win in Larnaca. He was on target again as his side ended the 90 minutes in Bucharest 2-1 down, going on to win the game with his third strike of the tie in extra time. Those three goals represented half of his overall European total of six.

• This will be Leon Vlemmings' first European game since replacing fellow Dutchman Ton Caanen as AEK coach. Caanen moved on after matchday four, his former assistant Demetris Demetriou taking command for the 2-1 matchday five win against Haifa.

• Retiring as a player aged 22, Vlemmings was a youth coach at PSV Eindhoven for nine years before moving to FC Eindhoven, where he led the first team between 2001 and 2005. He then acted as assistant for the Netherlands Under-19 national side, NAC Breda and Feyenoord, where he had spells in caretaker charge before leaving last summer.

• Steaua legend Ilie Dumitrescu managed AEK's neighbours Alki Larnaca FC in 2001/02 as the club successfully avoided relegation from the top flight.

• AEK goalkeeper Alexandre Negri spent 2004/05 in Romania with FC Universitatea Craiova, though he did not make a league appearance as his side finished bottom of the table.

• Romanian goalkeeper Cristian Munteanu spent 2005/06 on loan at AEK from FC Dinamo Bucureşti, featuring seven times in the league.

Last updated: 08/12/11 14.06CET