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CFR draw leaves Roma home and dry

CFR 1907 Cluj 1-1 AS Roma
Lacina Traoré equalised late on, but Marco Borriello's first-half goal ensured that the visitors avoided any last-night drama.

CFR draw leaves Roma home and dry
CFR draw leaves Roma home and dry ©UEFA.com

Lacina Traoré equalised late on for CFR 1907 Cluj, but Marco Borriello had earlier helped to soothe AS Roma nerves as they confirmed their place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

Roma needed a point to be sure of finishing second in Group E, and they rarely looked in danger of falling short after Borriello struck in the 21st minute. Unable to take numerous second-half chances, the visitors had to settle for a share of the spoils when Traoré equalised late on, but with FC Basel 1893 losing 3-0 at FC Bayern München, Claudio Ranieri's side could have afforded defeat in Romania.

Adamant they would be taking nothing for granted against a CFR side who proved awkward opponents in the clubs' three previous UEFA Champions League meetings, Roma's match plans suffered a late blow when goalkeeper Júlio Sérgio was forced out with an injury sustained in the warm-up, Romanian international Bogdan Lobonţ replacing him.

After a tentative first few minutes the game burst into life as Francesco Totti fired a long-range free-kick over. At the other end, Emmanuel Koné burst through the middle before firing a low drive which Lobonţ needed two attempts to gather. Borriello, who struck the winner in Roma's 2-1 win against CFR on Matchday 2, then settled the Giallorossi's nerves, taking a fine Fábio Simplício pass in his stride before tucking the ball left-footed past CFR keeper Eduard Stăncioiu from 12 metres.

CFR had offered little in the first half-hour but would soon force Lobonţ into action, Edimar's cross from the left eluding Traoré only for Italian Roberto De Zerbi, with the goal gaping, to shoot straight at Lobonţ.

Roma were more composed after the break. First, Nicolás Burdisso forced Stăncioiu into a brilliant save with a looping header. Borriello then fizzed an audacious drive from a tight angle just over. He might well have doubled the lead and his own tally for the match soon afterwards, driving at Stăncioiu with the goal gaping, before playing provider for Totti, who shot wide.

Destined to finish bottom of the section, CFR still never gave up. Juan Culio sent a rasping drive just over and, when all seemed lost, Traoré rose to head Culio's cross low into the corner to secure a point; the hosts' first since Matchday 1.

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