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Emphatic Tamaş ends Sturm streak

SK Sturm Graz 0-1 FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti
A thumping strike from Gabriel Tamaş ten minutes from time ended the Austrian side's 12-match unbeaten European run in Group F.

Gabriel Tamaş is congratulated after scoring the winner
Gabriel Tamaş is congratulated after scoring the winner ©Getty Images

A thumping strike from Gabriel Tamaş ten minutes from time proved decisive as FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti ended SK Sturm Graz's 12-match unbeaten European run with a 1-0 win in Austria.

Stunning finish
Dinamo dominated the first half of this Group F encounter, yet were consistently rebuffed by goalkeeper Christian Gratzei and the UEFA Europea League points seemed to be slipping away as an otherwise lacklustre Sturm outfit enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure with the end approaching. Then, innocuously, Claudiu Niculescu's corner was cleared to the edge of the area and Tamaş rifled into the top corner.

Dramatic comeback
Dinamo had only qualified for the group stage courtesy of a 9-8 penalty shoot-out success away to FC Slovan Liberec – after cancelling out a 3-0 first-leg deficit – and they appeared determined to maintain their momentum from that unlikely turnaround with a highly-productive opening half. Andrei Cristea, who scored the first on that memorable night in the Czech Republic, turned sharply 25 metres out and curled in an attempt that Gratzei pushed behind then, from the resulting corner, Ousmane N'Doye headed powerfully wide of the near post.

Gratzei inspired
Peter Hlinka's header was Sturm's only meaningful moment of a half in which Gratzei single-handedly kept the scores level, denying Djakaridja Koné and Cristea later on to leave Dario Bonetti wondering how his charges were not ahead at the interval. The home goal continued to lead a charmed existence after the break as Marius Alexe's strike was chalked out for offside but the Blacks had at least established a firm foothold in proceedings by that stage.

Sturm chances
Franco Foda's men adapted the better as the second half became more fractious with one Andreas Hölzl drive deflected to safety while Jakob Jantscher's scuffed attempt was scrambled wide as the Romanian side laboured. It was Tamaş's cue.