Twente dash Steaua's dream
Steaua Bucharest's dreams of a home final were extinguished after FC Twente won 1-0 at home to secure a 2-0 aggregate success.
Last Updated: 23/02/12 8:54pm
Steaua Bucharest's dreams of a home final in the Europa League were extinguished after FC Twente won 1-0 at home to secure a 2-0 aggregate success.
This season's final will be held in the Romanian capital, but Steaua will not be involved after Nacer Chadli's first-half goal earned Steve McClaren's side another 1-0 triumph.
Twente had gone into the match brimming with confidence after a 4-1 domestic win over Vitesse Arnhem last weekend but it was Steaua who threatened first from Cristian Tanase's dangerous seventh minute corner.
But chances were at a premium in the opening stages with both sides guilty of giving away free-kicks in midfield before Belgian striker Chadli finally pounced to finish off a fine move in the 28th minute.
Luuk de Jong found space in the right side of the penalty area and squared the ball for Chadli, who kept his cool to thread the opener past Steaua keeper Cristian Tatarusanu from 12 yards.
Chadli was caught narrowly offside as he chased down another chance on the half-hour while a chance for Steaua at the other end was foiled when Leandro Tatu was pulled up for a foul on Franco Douglas.
Twente continued to control a game of few chances and could have put the result beyond doubt in the 50th minute when De Jong sent a right-foot shot over the bar from 18 yards.
Steaua finally stirred three minutes later when Florin Costea shot over from 20 yards, prompting McClaren to make a tactical substitution and replace striker Ola John with Swedish midfielder Emir Bajrami.
Bajrami's first act was to fire in a dangerous free-kick after Chadli had been fouled by Novak Martinovic, but Tatarusanu came from his goal to make a comfortable save and avert the danger.
Tatarusanu parried an even better Bajrami effort in the 62nd minute and was busy again five minutes later, diving to parry a right-foot shot from 12 yards by the dangerous De Jong.
With time running out, Mihai Costea missed for Steaua with an overhead kick, then Stefan Nikolic was denied by a brilliant save from Twente keeper Nikolay Mihailovic, who tipped his close-range effort round the post.