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Paços hold firm to deny Pandurii

CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu 0-0 FC Paços de Ferreira
Both sides depart from Group E without a victory as Henrique Calisto's team survived an onslaught from the hosts to finish third in Group E.

Henrique Calisto's Paços held on to draw against Pandurii
Henrique Calisto's Paços held on to draw against Pandurii ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Paços de Ferreira had goalkeeper Matias Degra to thank as CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu passed up a host of chances in Cluj-Napoca and finished bottom of Group E.

Cristian Pustai's men, who sit fourth in the Romanian First Division, dominated the final group encounter and went closest via Viorel Nicoară's close-range shot 11 minutes from time. Paços produced a solid defensive performance and could have snatched victory through a Carlão header on 62 minutes, and despite losing André Leão to a second yellow card in the closing stages they held on to remain third.

Pandurii dictated play in the opening period, buoyed by the incentive of avoiding the section's wooden spoon in their debut season of European competition. Erico had a close-range effort saved by the head of Paços goalkeeper Degra before Marian Pleaşcă scuffed his shot wide when well-placed inside the box. With the visitors restricted to trying their luck from long range, Pandurii piled the pressure on the Portuguese strugglers, who had Degra to thank for making decent saves from Alex dos Santos and Viorel Nicoară.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, aside from a brighter ten minutes midway through the second period from Paços, who went close through Carlão's header and Paolo Hurtado's low volley from distance. Pandurii midfielder Eric Pereira had an attempt parried by Degra late on, moments before Nicoară missed the home side's best opportunity of the game when he shot against the visiting keeper after being played through on goal.

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