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The corner is wasted as the hosts give away a free kick. Felgueiras sends it up the park and the referee blows his whistle. It finishes 1-1. Thank you for joining us tonight.
Anywhere will do for the Romanians at the minute. They're nearly there. Galatasaray have a corner.
Burak Yilmaz should score. Selcuk's set-piece somehow finds the substitute who takes a great touch on the right of the penalty area before drilling his effort into the side netting. The flag was up anyway...
We'll have three minutes of stoppage time. Can the visitors, who have been so resilient in this second, hold out for a draw?
Felipe Melo sees his name in lights as he attempts an overhead kick from the edge of the penalty area. The Brazilian catches it all wrong and the ball nearly goes out for a throw-in.
Amrabat brushes off a number of challenges on the left to find Riera. The Spaniard lofts the ball into the penalty area but it's too near the keeper.
Selcuk is pulled to the floor but the referee waves play on. Muresan leads the breakaway and opts to try and lob Muslera from the halway line. The keeper reads it and is back on his line to save.
The Romanian side still have not had an effort on target all night. They could do with a spell of possession in these closing five minutes if they hope to hold out for a vital point.
Anti-climax. Selcuk sends the ball some way over the penalty area from the edge of the penalty area. Shocking effort, really. The keeper needs to be worked there.
Nicoara gives away a very silly free kick right on the edge of the penalty area. He's not done a great deal since he came on, Nicoara, and could now have contributed to his side's downfall.
Amrabat does well again down the left to earn his side another corner. It's taken quickly as they search for a winner.
Amrabat sends in another wicked cross that is met by the head of Bulut. It’s not a great connection, however, as the ball loops into the arms of Felgueiras.
Cluj enjoy a moment of possession for the first time in this second half but a poor pass from substitute Muresan gives the ball back to the hosts.
The momentum is very much with Galatasaray now and, if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the hosts to grab a second.
The atmosphere has completely changed inside the stadium now. The home crowd are making a lot of nopise. Gabriel Muresan replaces Kapetanos as Ioan Andone introduces some fresh legs.
GOAL FOR GALATASARAY!! You've got to say they deserve it. They've been knocking on the door and they're now level. Amrabat picks up the ball down on the left wing and sends a dangerous cross into the box. Burak Yilmaz rises highest to powerfully head home.
Galatasaray are awarded another corner. Selcuk sends in another ball which is dealt with by Pinto. Felgueiras comes for it but is completely out of his depth.
Sarioglu goes into the book for giving the linesman an earful. The Turk is pleading to be awarded a corner but, upon watching the replay, the ball definitely came of the substitute.
There are currently six Galatasaray players camped in the Cluj penalty area. Riera whips in another ball but it doesn’t fall to any of them.
The rain has started to come down heavily again. Rafael Bastos is taken off as Viorel Nicoara, who is surely going to spend the next 20 minutes at the heart of defence, comes on.
Felipe Melo attacks the front post as he gets on the end of Riera’s whipped centre. The angle is too tight for the Brazilian and he sends the ball into the side netting.
The substitute is instantly in the thick of the action as the ball is shifted from left to right. The Turk receives the ball and sends a snap-shot at goal but it flies about 20 yards over the net.
Eboue makes way for Sabri Sariouglu as Fatih Terim makes his third and final change. They really need a goal here...
Not that the players can do much about it, but this game has been very much like watching a schoolyard football match. The ball is just being hacked around the park.
Fatih Terim is sure to be rather aggrieved at losing his star-striker Johan Elmander as this current brand of football would have suited the Swede very well.
The visitors’ defensive line seem to be camped on their 18 yard line. They’re inviting crosses into the box and have done very well to deal with them so far. They’re definitely hoping to hit their opponents on the counter attack.
The rain has definitely eased and the conditions are getting visibly better. Let’s hope the football does, too.
Eboue lifts what seems like Galatasaray’s 50th cross of this half into the box. Cadu gets a vital touch on the ball to send it out for a corner.
Eboue collects a loose ball following Piccolo's poor clearance. the Ivory Coast defender opts not to pass and drags a soft shot wide from 25 yards.
Nounkeu has a chance to make amends for that unfortunate own goal as he meets Selcuk’s set piece. It actually comes off his arms before going out for a goal kick.
It is quite comical t see so many players having to lift the ball to each other, even when making a five-yard pass.
Selcuk Inan sends a diagonal ball into the box which is met by Amrabat who knocks it down into the path of Bulut. The striker chests it down before sending his effort marginally wide.
Cluj are defending very deep here. You can’t help feel that, with ten men, they’ll struggle to hold out here. They’ve hardly touched the ball in this second half.
Substitute Colak combines well with Riera and sends the Spaniard down the left flank. He gets to the byline but his drilled centre has too much pace on it and flies out for a throw-in.
Eboue’s long throw-in is headed away by Cadu. It’s a decent header but, again, the ball stops dead in the middle of the park and has a number of players scrambling for it.
Rada does come on and replaces Sepsi, who gave away that penalty. Like for like swap.
Ionut Rada is warming up on the touchline. I can’t see anybody on the Cluj team that looks to be struggling. We’ll see who makes way.
BURAK SHOULD SCORE!!! Umut Bulut sends in a devilish ball which is met by the substitute. He’s just a few yards out but can’t direct his effort on goal.
Semih Kaya inexplicably attempts a pass-back to the goalkeeper in these conditions. It stops dead on the edge of the penalty area but Nounkeu reads it and clears the danger.
It appears that Fatih Terim must have laid into his team at half time as they have come racing out of the blocks during these opening few minutes.
Selcuk Inan picks the ball up 25 yards from goal, beats his man and has an effort. It’s not too bad but doesn’t really challenge Felgueiras.
Riera finds some space down the left and sends in a wonderful cross. None of his team mates gamble and it rolls out for a goal kick.
Fortunately for us we do have a second half here but there would have been some heavy discussions with the match officials during half time, surely?!
The second half is under way.
The referee brings the first half to an end.
Cluj have looked much the better side during these opening 45 minutes. Galatasaray may blame the pitch but it's been the same for both teams.
We'll have two minutes of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
Galatasaray play the corner short, which is confusing. It goes all the way back to Eboue on the halfway line. The crowd aren’t too pleased with the tactic as they vent their frustration. The right-back sends the ball straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.
Dribbling with the ball is now almost impossible. Players are having to pass the ball whenever possible but it is being caught up in the turf. This is quite ridiculous.
Emre Colak comes on for Elmander who obviously cannot continue. That’s a real blow to the Turkish side who have just had to bring on a striker.
Elmander is now down on the floor. It looks like a muscular problem and it appears he is going to be put on a stretcher. That could well be the end of the Swede’s night.
That change will more than likely see Elmander drop to the right as Burak is an out-and-out number 9. Rafael Bastos is pulled to the floor by Riera. Free kick on the half way lilne.
Burak Yilmaz does indeed come on and replaces Hamit Altintop, who took a knock earlier on in the half.
Rafael Bastos goes into the book. He is challenging Amrabat to the ball and gives him a needless little nudge. Very silly, that!
Rafael Bastos goes into the book. He is challenging Amrabat to the ball and gives him a needless little nudge. Very silly, that!
That really was a poor penalty. The Brazilian looked to be waiting for the keeper to move, which he did not. It seemed to put him off and he looked visibly livid.
PENALTY SAVED! It’s a very poor penalty from Felipe Melo. He tries to place it into the bottom left-hand corner but doesn’t get hold of it which allows the keeper to make a solid stop.
PENALTY TO GALATASARAY! Sepsi is penalised for handball. He’s very unfortunate as the ball strikes his hand after he challenges Elmander in the air. The referee blows straight away and the hosts have a great chance to make it all-square here.
Amrabat receives the ball short from the corner and has an effort on goal from the edge of the penalty area. It’s a poor shot and flies wide.
A man light, the visitors are working very hard to close down their opponents. Sepsi makes a great sliding tackle to send the ball out for a corner.
I don’t want to have to keep blaming the conditions but there have been some very sloppy and very late tackles so far. I wouldn’t be too surprised if there was another dismissal.
It really does say something about the state of this pitch that the players are having to revert to beach football tactics. Felipe Melo now goes into a tackle late, brings his man down and is booked for his troubles.
From the resulting free kick, Felipe melo gathers the ball. He flicks it up into the path of Altintop who volleys it goalwards. Felgueiras is down well to his right to palm it away. Good stop.
RED CARD!! Aguirregaray is off. He picks up his second yellow of the game. His first one was needless but the second is just silly. Riera is going nowhere down the left and he lunges in, bringing down the former Liverpool man. They’re now going to have to play over an hour with 10 men.
The rain is still falling heavily as the visiting side continue to see the majority of the ball. Kapetanos chases a loose ball which should be collected by Muslera but the keeper is unsure of whether to come because of the rain. Eboue cuts it out and takes the ball up field.
The handbags are out. Amrabat and Aguirregaray clash in the middle of the park. There’s not a great deal in it but the referee is over quickly to book them both.
Rafael Bastos' corner is a dangerous one but is cleared by Nounkeu. Kaya hacks it clear and that is met by some serious boos from the home crowd. They're not happy with the aimless clerance.
That looks like it will need some stitches. He may be able to have it bandaged up until the break and then get it seen to as his side are a goal down and are in need of him on the pitch.
OOOOH! Johan Elmander is caught by a stray elbow and goes down instantly. He’s a tough lad and is up after a while but is ushered off the pitch with a serious amount of blood pouring from his face.
Looking back at that, it may well be an own goal. Kapetanos is the first one to it and does make contact with the ball but it takes a deflection off Nounkeu before nestling in the back of the net.
GOAL FOR CLUJ!! Semih Kaya fails to clear the ball and the visiting side gather the ball. Camora finds space down the left, gets the ball out of his feet and sends it in to the box. Kapetanos is first to it and sticks a leg out to prod it home from 12 yards.
Amrabat trades a one-two with Felipe Melo but isn’t found with the return pass because the ball stops dead on the pitch. It’s a pity because he’d made a very intelligent run.
Getting back to the rain; if it continues like this then we’ll surely see visible puddles on the pitch. It is only just playable at the minute and the referee may have a serious decision to make in the not too distant future.
Amrabat has been more involved in these last few minutes and has linked up well with Riera down the left. Nothing has come of it as of yet, though.
Altintop cuts in from the left and has an effort on goal. It’s a decent effort and forces the visiting keeper to be on his toes. The ball is palmed to safety but Umut Bulut is first to it. He goes down in the box but no penalty is given. He’s actually booked. Not sure it’s for a dive. Probably for moaning at the referee.
This is bordering on farcical at times. Umut Bulut has an effort on goal which stops dead about 12 yards from goal. Felguieras has to rush out to collect.
Riera plays in Amrabat who is sent through on goal. He opts not to shoot and attempts a step-over. The conditions don’t help and the winger slips over. The ball is cleared.
Nounkeu chases Aquirregaray a fair distance across the pitch and decides that he can get the ball with a sliding challenge. He’s wrong and he gives a free kick away on the half way line.
The Brazilian does look in some discomfort and is taken off the pitch by Galatasaray’s medical staff. It’s not a night to be lying down on the floor if you’re not injured so he could be in a bit of trouble here...
Felipe Melo is down after a rather heavy collision with Piccolo in the box following the corner. He looks in quite a lot of pain and the referee blows his whistle to stop the match for a few moments.
Selcuk Inan has a speculative effort from goal from 30 yards. Cadu gets his body in the way and the hosts have the first corner of the evening.
Former Arsenal man Eboue tries to find Altintop down the right flank but Piccolo is across well to send the ball into the stands.
The ball really is holding up in the very wet turf. This could well have been called off. Eboue dinks a ball into the Cluj box from his own hald but it's too deep and Felgueiras is off his line to claim.
Rafael Bastos is starting in an advanced position up-field and has seen a lot of the ball so far. He chases down a long pass but is beaten to it by the alert Muslera.
Another effort from the visitors. They've really taken the game to the Turkish side in these opening few minutes. It's Bastos again who chests the ball down 15 yards from goal before swivelling and firing just wide. He's claiming a corner but a goal kick is signalled.
Rafael Bastos should do better. Camora gets down the left flank and pulls it back to the edge of the area. The hosts don't even make an effort to clear it and it rolls to the striker who side-foots it well wide. He'll be disappointed at that.
Cluj pump the ball long but it is headed away by Nounkeu. Godemeche is the first to it and has an effort on goal from 30 yards that flies high over the bar.
Italian referee Paolo Tagliavento blows his whistle to get the game under way. The visitors kick off.
The two sides are currently standing side-by-side in the tunnel, waiting to make their way onto the pitch. The ground staff are still trying to do their best in brushing the water off the pitch during these last few minutes before kick off.
It has been raining very heavily in the hour leading up to kick off and it is only just starting to slow down. The pitch is very wet but we're in no danger of a repeat of what happened in Warsaw last week during Poland's World Cup qualifier with England.
The Transylvanian side, who knocked Manchester United out of the group stage last season, take on Turkish opposition for the first time in their history this evening. Galatasaray, however, have a long and successful history against teams from Romania, having never lost in six meetings at home.
The Turkish giants have won just one of their last nine Champions League games and lost six of the last seven. They may feel a little unlucky this campaign, though, as they’ve hit the woodwork more than any other side in the competition.
In stark contrast, the current Turkish champions have failed to win in their last four home outings in UEFA competition. Another loss tonight will ensure three defeats in the Champions League for only the second time. They managed that feat during the 1997/98 campaign as they finished bottom of their group.
The Romanians go into this match looking for their fourth straight away victory in the Champions League this year. They overcame FC Slovan Liberec and FC Basel in the qualifying rounds before the aforementioned victory over Braga.
Cluj also line up in a 4-4-2 formation but it’s much more reserved than that of the Turkish side’s. The four in midfield will be much more compact as the Romanians will hope to stifle the attacking threat posed by Galatasaray and hit them on the break whenever possible.
The hosts line up in an attacking 4-4-2 formation with Felipe Melo and Selcuk Inan the two men sitting in the centre of the midfield which will allow for Nordin Amrabat and Hamit Altintop to support Johan Elmander and Umut Bulut from the flanks.
The teams are in - Galatasaray: Muslera, Nounkeu, Semih Kaya, Eboué, Hamit Altıntop, Selçuk İnan, Felipe Melo, Riera, Amrabat, Elmander, Umut Bulut SUBS: Stăncioiu, Maftei, Rada, Mureşan, Rui Pedro, Nicoară, Bjelanović. // Cluj: Mário Felgueiras, Ivo Pinto, Sepsi, Piccolo, Cadú, Camora, Rafael Bastos, Godemèche, Luís Alberto, Aguirregaray, Kapetanos SUBS: Stăncioiu, Maftei, Rada, Mureşan, Rui Pedro, Nicoară, Bjelanović
That 2-0 victory over Braga on was only the third time a Romanian side had won away from home in the Champions League group stage. The first side to do so were Steaua Bucharest in 2006 when they beat Dynamo Kiev 4-1. That was followed by Cluj’s incredible 2-1 victory over Italian side AS Roma in 2008.
Current Romanian champions Cluj surprised Braga on matchday one as they left Portugal with all three points following an impressive display and a 2-0 victory. They fell just short in their home game against Manchester United despite taking the lead inside just 15 minutes. In typical fashion, the English side clawed themselves out of trouble thanks to two deadly strikes from Robin van Persie to seal victory.
Fourth-placed Galatasaray will be looking to kick-start their Champions League campaign with a win this evening. They currently sit three points behind tonight’s opponents Cluj and second-placed Braga following consecutive defeats at the hands of Manchester United and the Portuguese-based outfit.
Good evening and welcome to our LIVE coverage of tonight’s Champions League Group H match between Galatasaray and CFR Cluj at the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul.
|Gençlerbirligi||3 - 3||Galatasaray|
|Galatasaray||1 - 1||Eskisehirspor|
|Sporting Braga||2 - 0||Galatasaray|
|Orduspor||2 - 0||Galatasaray|
|Galatasaray||3 - 0||Akhisar Belediyespor|
|FC Viitorul Constanta||1 - 0||CFR 1907 Cluj|
|Steaua Bucharest||1 - 0||CFR 1907 Cluj|
|Manchester United||2 - 1||CFR 1907 Cluj|
|CFR 1907 Cluj||5 - 1||Gloria Bistrita|
|Pandurii Târgu-Jiu||2 - 1||CFR 1907 Cluj|