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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
UEFA Cup Second Preliminary Round Second Leg 
Nistru Otaci 0 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  5:00 PM          
Attendance: 4,000
Venue: Călărăşăuca Stadium, Otaci, Moldova
Dons win through in Moldova
Despite a late sustained effort by Nistru Otaci, the Dons held on to march through to the first round proper of the UEFA Cup. After a comfortable opening 70 minutes, the Moldovans moved up a gear and the Dons defence had to be at their best to keep them at bay.

The Dons kicked off and were immediately dispossessed when Derek Young was the victim of a very strong challenge which the referee was quite happy to allow. The home side moved forward and Blajco turned the ball wide of the target. Nistru were clearly up for the match and dominated the opening spell. However, the Dons forced the first corner of the match in the 5th minute and two minutes later Darren Young had a header on target although it caused little concern to the Nistru keeper.

In a surreal atmosphere, which included a band starting up every time Nistru moved forward, the game settled down. Roberto Bisconti collected the first yellow card of the evening for a late challenge in the 11th minute and three minutes later Popescu was given too much space and hit a decent effort which drifted over the top. Kjaer made an easy save two minutes later when Yanchuk had a weak effort at goal. Aberdeen forced their way forward in the 17th minute and D'Jaffo got his head to a Deloumeaux throw in, but Dinov collected comfortably.

The Dons forced their second corner in the 19th minute and McNaughton was unlucky as he drilled the ball inches wide. The Dons had clearly settled and were starting to cause the hosts some problems. Following a third corner, McNaughton was the victim of a cynical challenge which the Turkish official penalised, but didn't produce a yellow card. Although the Dons were taking control, Phil McGuire had to look lively in the 28th minute to break up a Nistru attack.

The best chance of the first half came in the 31st minute when Derek Young strode forward and hit a fierce shot, which Dinov did well to save. With five minutes left. Nistru won a rather weak free kick about 35 yards out when Bisconti was adjudged to have fouled. Fortunately Lascencov fancied his chances and ballooned the ball over the bar. A minute later, the Dons forced Dinov into more action following good build up play between McNaughton and D'Jaffo. They created an opening for Darren Young and the keeper was forced to turn his effort round the post.

The Dons finished the first half in the driving seat. McNaughton was having a fine match and he drove forward once again. He set up Tiernan and following a blocked effort, McNaughton collected again and was brought down on the edge of the box. The subsequent free kick saw McAllister roll a short pass to Darren Young, but his shot was blocked for a corner. In the final minute, Derek Young went close when he latched on to a D'Jaffo flick and looked on in agony as his effort was deflected wide of the target.

Ebbe decide to make a change at halftime with Darren Mackie replacing Fergus Tiernan. The Dons started the second half where they had finished the first with the bulk of the play. Both Derek Young and Mackie creating half chances to open the scoring. Bisconti had a good opportunity in the 53rd minute when he found space on the edge of the area. Rather than take control, the Belgian tried to set up D'Jaffo and the chance was lost.

There was a flurry of activity on the hour mark when Nistru finally collected their first yellow as Pidhayetskyy was booked for a challenge on Bisconti. The Belgian was then substituted and Chris Clark joined the fray. McAllister was booked in the 61st minute for time wasting after taking more than 5 seconds to take a free kick. The second half had produced little goalmouth action and Otaci didn't threaten until the 68th minute when substitute Matiura steered the ball wide of the Dons goal.

Aberdeen had a chance to pressurise the home team in the 69th minute when Darren Young swung in a free kick, which McGuire headed straight at Dinov. A minute later Otaci won their second corner of the evening, but Bursuc headed tamely wide. The alarm bells were ringing in the 72nd minute when the Moldovans came close to drawing level as Kjaer fumbled a Yanchuk shot and had to recover the ball before it crossed the line. This seemed to give the hosts a big lift as they began to pressurise the Dons and forced the visitors on to the back foot.

After a series of corner kicks, Nistru went close again in the 78th minute when Kjaer was forced to tip a Groshev shot over the bar. Two minutes later the Dane was required to do the same again as the Moldovans sensed the chance to break through. Hearts were in mouths again in the 85th minute when Kjaer dropped the ball in the box. Fortunately the referee had spotted a foul on the keeper. With three minutes remaining, Pogreban outfoxed Anderson and the ball was fired across the face of the Dons goal before rolling out of play on the far side. Deep in injury time Nistru won a free kick on the edge of the box, but fortunately the Defence stood firm and Kjaer had an easy save to see the Dons through to the next round.

Nistru Otaci Teamsheet:  Dinov, Lupasco, Lascencov, Kovalkov, Pidhayetskyy, Bursuc, Popescu, Yanchuk, Groshev, Blajco, Kopystyanskyy.

Unused Subs: Matiura for Popescu (54), Pogreban for Blajco (69), Malitskyy for Kopystyansky.

Bookings:  Pidhayetskyy (60)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young, Tiernan (Mackie 46), D'Jaffo, McNaughton, Young, Bisconti (Clark 60).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Bisconti (11),  McAllister (61).

Referee: M. Culcu, Turkey

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