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Twente denied in Steaua stalemate

FC Twente 0-0 FC Steaua Bucureşti
The Dutch hosts remain at the Group H summit despite drawing a blank in their first ever game against Romanian opposition.

Steaua's Juan Toja competes for a high ball with Blaise N'Kufo
Steaua's Juan Toja competes for a high ball with Blaise N'Kufo ©Getty Images

FC Twente were held to a goalless draw at home to FC Steaua Bucureşti in their first ever match against Romanian opposition but remain at the summit of UEFA Europa League Group H.

Stoichiţă bow
Twente's 2-1 victory over Fenerbahçe SK last month means they head their section, while a Steaua side coached by Mihai Stoichiţă following the Matchday 1 dismissal of Cristiano Bergodi sit second. Neither team threatened to take maximum points, though Stoichiţă will be grateful for the steadying presence of Robinson Zapata in the Steaua goal.

Perez profligacy
Kenneth Perez was first to warm the palms of either keeper with a 17th-minute strike from distance, but should have done better later in the first half, profiting from Bryan Ruiz's deft pass only to flash carelessly wide. Blaise Nkufo was equally unconvincing when presented with a similar scenario a minute before the break and Steaua remained level.

Boschker saves
Book ending three presentable first-half opportunities for the hosts were four less troubling moments from Steaua. Sander Boschker had dealt with three with consummate ease but, on the stroke of half-time, the 38-year-old was thankful to his defence for clearing their lines after he had fumbled Pantelis Kapetanos's scuffed shot.

Zapata heroics
The Romanians' most passable opening of the second period fell to Bogdan Stancu, who contrived to spoon over from close range after indecisiveness from Douglas. Boschker was then twice outdone by his Colombian counterpart before the match was out. Zapata forced Ruiz's fierce volley from barely six metres over his goal on the hour and then surpassed himself as full-time approached, stoically palming away a Nkufo attempt.