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UEFA Champions League

  • 24 October 2012
  • • 00:15
  • • Türk Telekom Arena, Istanbul
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 39013
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Galatasaray 1-1 CFR Cluj: Yilmaz leveller can't lift Turkish side from bottom of Group H

Galatasaray 1-1 CFR Cluj: Yilmaz leveller can't lift Turkish side from bottom of Group H

galatasaray.org

A late strike from the Turkey international ensured that the Istanbul outfit picked up their first point in European competition this season despite an uninspiring performance

Galatasaray left it late to secure a 1-1 draw in the Champions League against 10-man CFR Cluj in appalling conditions at the Turk Telekom Arena.

Torrential rain before kick off meant that the fixture was played on a water-logged pitch, though this did not hinder the visitors who took the lead midway through the first half when Dany Nounkeu turned into his own net.

Cluj were reduced to 10 men soon after but Gala were unable to capitalise on their man advantage with Felipe Melo failing to convert from the penalty spot. But with 15 minutes remaining, Burak Yilmaz equalised with his side's first Champions League goal this season, also securing them their maiden point.

Proof that the sodden pitch was going to make for a turbulent match was evident within the opening two minutes. After the hosts gave the ball away, Emmanuel Eboue offered too much space to Camora on the left. He found Rafael Bastos in the area but the forward sliced his effort high and wide of the goal.

To their credit Gala attempted to play good football in the face of the adverse conditions and their first shot of goal came in the 14th minute. Hamit Altintop's 20-yard strike was parried aside by Mario Felgueiras and although Umut Bulut was first to the loose ball, the referee was unconvinced as he fell to the floor inside the box.

But Cluj, maintaining a more direct gameplan, silenced the stadium in the 19th minute. Camora once more found space down the left and he crossed for Pantelis Kapetanos. The striker got a foot on the ball but was fortunate that a wicked deflection off Nounkeu carried the ball into the back of the net.

With 28 minutes played the Istanbul outfit were given a huge boost when Matias Aguirregaray was dismissed for his second booking in the space of three minutes after bringing down Selcuk Inan.

Momentum immediately swung the way of the hosts and after Felgueiras thwarted Altintop, Laszlo Sepsi conceded a penalty for handball with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Felipe Melo stepped up to take the spot-kick but the keeper guessed right, clawing the ball away and capping a brilliant half.

Six minutes after the restart Gala failed to take the most of yet another gilt-edged chance. The excellent Nordin Amrabat picked out Bulut in space in front of goal but he failed to connect with the ball properly as it skidded off the slick surface.

With the Cluj defence camped back on the edge of their own area, the hosts enjoyed total dominance. But Fatih Terim's men continued to rally and the Romanian resistance was finally broken with 13 minutes remaining. Amrabat's cross found Yilmaz in the area, who had replaced the injured Johan Elmander in the first half, and he beat the keeper to the ball to nod into the net.

Galatasary were unable to go a step further and find the winner meaning they remain bottom of Group H while Cluj rise above Braga and into second.

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