Feyenoord failed to capitalise on home advantage in the first round, first leg Uefa Cup tie against Rapid Bucharest Thursday. The lack of a crowd may have levelled things up a little, but the Maassiders will be disappointed that they squandered a lead after Dirk Kuyt’s first-half goal. Ciprian Vasilache equalised from the spot in a game in which Patrick Paauwe broke Wim Jansen’s European appearance record with his 53rd outing in Euro competitions for Feyenoord.

Salomon Kalou showed early on that he was in the mood to dance, waltzing past two Romanians on eight minutes, and he continued to show some silky stuff in the opening half. 

Kuyt went close in the first ten minutes after good work by Kalou, but keeper Coman held onto the shot. Kalou was a constant threat, but genuine clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Yet the visitors were certainly holding their own and Marius Maldarasanu might have opened the scoring twice in a minute at the other end, but he fired just over and then screwed his drive wide. One miss was bad luck, two was bad form. 

Kuyt was more than happy to show him how to finish with five left in the first half. He did had Coman to thank however, when the keeper raced out his goal to little apparent purpose, giving Kuyt the opportunity to lob the ball over him into the empty net.

So as the second half got underway Feyenoord looked well on course to get the result they were looking for, but with just the slimmest of margins, a slippery surface and tough opponents, it was clear that the Rotterdammers needed some extra breathing space.

That was underlined early in the second half when the Romanians went mighty close to levelling things up. It was all Patrick Lodewijks could do to get a hand to a cross, but the ball fell at the feet of George Niculae in the area and the home side had to thank their lucky stars that the midfielder had a rush of blood to his head and skied his effort.

Kalou was the next one with a chance, but keeper Coman managed to beat out his effort for a corner.

If there had been a crowd the visitors would have silenced it with around a quarter of an hour left on the clock. Greene lost his footing, handling the ball in the process and referee Hrinak was left with no choice but to point to the spot. Substitute Vasilache converted with aplomb to bring Rapid back level.

Koeman responded by asking Owoeri to warm up and then brought the Nigerian on for Pardo. Owoeri would not threaten the visitors’ goal, but another sub – Romeo Castelen – did go mighty close, although he just wasn’t able to find the room to fire off a shot. That all meant that the game finished all square, leaving Feyenoord with a lot to do in a fortnight’s time.

Feyenoord - Rapid Bucharest 1-1
39’ 1-0 Kuyt
74’ 1-1 Vasilache (penalty)

Yellow: Greene, Pardo, Rada, Vasilache 

Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund, Greene, Bahia, Bosschaart; Ghaly, Paauwe, Pardo (84’ Owoeri); Boussaboun (66’ Castelen), Kuyt, Kalou.

Rapid Bucharest: Coman; M. Constantin, Maftei, Rada, Karamyan (82’ Perja); Badoi, Maldarasanu, Niculae (67’ Vasilache); Buga (87’ Dica), N. Constantin, Ilyes.

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