• FT

    Besiktas

    3

    Stoke

    1

  • FT

    Dynamo Kiev

    3

    Maccabi Tel-

    3

  • FT

    FC Z├╝rich

    2

    FC Vaslui

    0

  • FT

    Lazio

    2

    SP Lisbon

    0

  • FT

    PSG

    4

    Athletic

    2

  • FT

    Slovan Brati

    2

    SV Salzburg

    3

  • FT

    Anderlecht

    5

    Loko Moscow

    3

  • FT

    Fulham

    2

    Odense BK

    2

  • FT

    Mac Haifa

    0

    Schalke 04

    3

  • FT

    SK Sturm Gra

    1

    AEK Athens

    3

  • FT

    Steaua

    3

    AEK Larnaca

    1

  • FT

    Wisla Krakow

    2

    FC Twente

    1

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Stadionul Steaua, Bucharest, Romania

Referee: Said Ennjimi | Attendance: 50051

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Steaua Bucuresti

  • Raul Rusescu 55' PEN
  • Stefan Nikolic 70'
  • Stefan Nikolic 85'

3 - 1

FT

AEK Larnaca

  • Gorka Pintado 61'

Nikolic double sends Steaua through

Stefan Nikolic scored twice to send Steaua Bucharest into the knockout stage of the Europa League with 3-1 victory at home to AEK Larnaca.

The 21-year-old netted both his goals in the final 20 minutes as the hosts capitalised on Maccabi Haifa's loss at home to Schalke to move ahead of the Israeli side in to second place in Group J.

With just one point separating second-placed Maccabi and AEK in fourth at the start of play, Steaua and AEK both knew a win could send them through.

And it was Steaua who went ahead 10 minutes into the second half through Raul Rusescu's penalty.

Former Swansea striker Gorka Pintado levelled for the Cypriots, but the Romanians, who were hammered 5-0 away to Maccabi in October, finished strongly to book their place in the next round.

Steaua were the first to threaten in the 15th minute through Pablo Brandan's fierce free-kick from the edge of the area which AEK goalkeeper Alexandre Negri had to tip round the post.

Nikolic then headed Andrei Prepelita's cross wide from six yards as the hosts continued to look dangerous.

The visitors looked quiet until the 34th minute when former Holland defender Kevin Hofland's free-kick from the left was parried away by Cristian Tatarusanu.

The Romanians broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Ander Murillo fouled Nikolic and Rusescu fired the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner.

With Maccabi trailing at home to Schalke, AEK knew a win would still likely send them through, despite starting the night bottom of the pool.

They responded and Pintado's header from Jason Demetriou's cross made it 1-1 in the 61st minute.

But Steaua were still playing the better football and, after Cristian Tanase's shot was pushed round the post by Negri, Nikolic headed Brandan's corner into the net to restore his side's lead in the 70th minute.

Valentin Iliev sent a header from another Brandan corner over the top as the hosts threatened to extend their lead, and Nikolic's second made the game safe five minutes from time.

The Montenegrin forward drilled home a low left-footed shot from the edge of the area to send his team into the knockout stage.

Scoring Summary

  • Steaua Bucuresti
  • AEK Larnaca

Match Stats

  • Steaua Bucuresti
  • AEK Larnaca
5(3) Shots (on goal) 6(4)
17 Fouls 10
10 Corner kicks 1
5 Offsides 3
50% Time of Possession 50%
3 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 3

Teams

  • Steaua Bucuresti
  • AEK Larnaca
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards