Legia raid Rapid for maximum points
Thursday, October 20, 2011
FC Rapid Bucureşti 0-1 Legia Warszawa
Maciej Skorża's team moved clear into second position in Group C thanks to Miroslav Radović's header with 17 minutes remaining.
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Legia Warszawa took sole command of second spot in UEFA Europa League Group C with a 1-0 win at FC Rapid Bucureşti.
Forty years and a day since the sides' last meeting in Romania, a UEFA Cup second round encounter won 4-0 by Rapid, Legia gained long overdue revenge. Full of endeavour but short on precision in the final third, the duo – who will have to wait just a fortnight to face each other once more – were separated by Miroslav Radović's 73rd-minute header.
Level on three points at the start of play, Legia and Rapid swiftly appeared an equal match. Seven minutes in, however, the visitors should have seized the initiative, Radović sneaking in behind the Rapid defence only to shoot too close to Dănuţ Coman.
Reprieved, Răzvan Lucescu's team would have capitalised had they not been let down twice by the finishing of Nicolae Grigore, who headed away from goal when in sight of the whites of Dušan Kuciak's eyes before failing to make sufficient contact with Ovidiu Herea's inadvertent cross.
If the opening period had offered signs of hope, the second half was littered with ifs, buts and maybes. Sent beyond Rapid's back line, Maciej Rybus would have had a clear path to goal had his first touch not been so lax, while, for the hosts, all three points could have been theirs if their final ball had proved as polished as their build-up play.
Then came the moment of precision the game had been lacking. Rybus delivered a teasing, inswinging free-kick, and Radović turned a deft, perfectly timed header into the roof of Kuciak's net. It appeared certain to be enough until, with two minutes left, Rapid threatened again, only to fail once more to apply a finishing touch when Sabrin Sburlea was denied from close range.