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Galatasaray dampen CFR ardour

Galatasaray AŞ 1-1 CFR 1907 Cluj
Burak Yılmaz got the home side off the hook against ten men after an own goal and a missed penalty looked to have spelled Group H disaster.

Galatasaray dampen CFR ardour
Galatasaray dampen CFR ardour ©UEFA.com

Substitute Burak Yılmaz struck back on 77 minutes to break Galatasaray AŞ's Group H duck after an own goal and a missed penalty looked to have conspired to give CFR 1907 Cluj an unlikely UEFA Champions League win.

Drenched but defiant, the CFR rearguard acquitted themselves impressively, but Nordin Amrabat finally found the ball to unlock them, Burak surging into the box to head past Mário Felgueiras. It was tough on the goalkeeper, who had saved Felipe Melo's first-half penalty after Dany Nounkeu had accidentally chested the visitors ahead on 19 minutes.

Rafael Bastos twice got a sight of the Galatasaray goal in the early stages, yet the weather soon dampened the pace. Tellingly, Amrabat's low drive at the other end got stuck in the mud before Felgueiras splashed down to his left to fend off Hamit Altıntop's shot. CFR then made the breakthrough, though it was Nounkeu who got the key touch, skidding in to divert the ball into his own net after Pantelis Kapetanos had directed Camora's cross onto the defender's chest.

Ioan Andone's side's celebrations were curtailed when Matías Aguirregaray was dismissed on 28 minutes for two bookable offences, and Felgueiras made a terrific block from Hamit as the 11 men moved in for the kill. Galatasaray's first Group H goal appeared imminent when László Sepsi was penalised for handling in the box, but Felgueiras sparkled in the rain once more, diving to his right to push Felipe Melo's spot kick to safety.

While Galatasaray soon had more reason to curse their luck, with a hip problem forcing Hamit off before the interval, their will did not fail them, and their pressure remained as constant as the downpour in the second period. With Fatih Terim's team determined to keep the ball off the ground, swinging cross after cross into the CFR box, Umut Bulut miscued with the goal at his mercy and Selçuk İnan drew a save with a shot from distance.

It was beginning to look like the Romanian champions would weather the storm until Amrabat and Burak fashioned the equaliser. Galatasaray continued to batter the CFR defence in the closing exchanges, yet when Burak smashed an effort into the side netting at the death their best chance of snatching victory slipped away.