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PSV leave it late to see off Rapid

FC Rapid Bucureşti 1-3 PSV Eindhoven
Destined for a share of the spoils and of the Group C lead, PSV took command through late goals from Ola Toivonen and Tim Matavž.

Ola Toivonen's late header set PSV on their way to victory
Ola Toivonen's late header set PSV on their way to victory ©Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven assumed sole control of UEFA Europa League Group C with a 3-1 win against FC Rapid Bucureşti at the National Arena.

Both victorious a fortnight ago, Rapid and PSV looked set to retain a share of the lead in the section until Ola Toivonen's header with two minutes left and Tim Matavž's cool finish in added time. Though fitting that Rapid, through Dan Alexu, scored the first UEFA Europa League goal on the ground that will stage this season's final, PSV were good value for Wilfred Bouma's equaliser and their late double.

Indeed, unbeaten in a UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League group stage game in 13 outings prior to kick-off, they started with appropriate authority. Though Daniel Pancu's close-range shot caused Andreas Isaksson's heart to skip a beat, it was his Rapid counterpart Dănuţ Coman who had more with which to concern himself, showing particular alertness to keep out Georginio Wijnaldum's stinging effort.

Isaksson was required to divert Pancu's free-kick over on 27 minutes but was unable to repeat the trick from the ensuing corner, Alexa pouncing to divert Pancu's header into the bottom corner. Bouma, an uncompromising defender by trade, was an equally unlikely scorer two minutes from the break, drifting in unnoticed at the back post to touch past Coman from Kevin Strootman's set piece.

Yet to catch light following the interval, the game looked to have received a welcome shot in the arm on the hour. Coman, attempting to flush out a corner, left himself stranded. Bouma struck the loose ball but, seemingly destined for a second, was denied by Rui Darte's positioning on the goal line.

The full-back's heroics failed to act as a catalyst for his team and, with time nearly up, a stoic Rapid defence were finally beaten when Toivonen towered above it to head in Strootman's cross. Dries Martens teed up Matavž for the icing on the cake.

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