Point enough for Roma to progress
© AFP

Lacina Traore's late header denied Roma a UEFA Champions League win but a 1-1 draw at Cluj proved enough to send them into the last 16.

Marco Borriello put the Romans ahead in the 22nd minute, which looked like bringing them a win until Traore struck late on. The result made no difference to the Group E standings, with Roma progressing behind Bayern Munich and Cluj dropping out of European competition for the season.

Francesco Totti had the first opportunity when Emil Dica fouled him 25 yards from goal, but the former Italy man could not find the target with his free-kick. At the other end, Traore was at least on target when he shot from a similar range but Bogdan Lobont, a last-minute addition to the Roma team in place of Julio Sergio, held on.

Roma took the lead in the 22nd minute when Fabio Simplicio took advantage of a Cluj defensive error, playing in Borriello, who advanced into the area before slotting the ball past Eduard Stancioiu.

Totti sent another free-kick wide just before the half-hour mark, before Roberto De Zerbi had a glorious chance to bring Cluj level four minutes before the break, seeing his shot from eight yards parried by Lobont. Emmanuel Kone also missed the target and Traore's 25-yard strike was saved by Lobont as Roma maintained their advantage going into half-time.

Totti's radar problems continued after the restart as he fired wide from 20 yards, before Simplicio's shot was blocked by Cadu and Daniele De Rossi's header from 12 yards was turned over the bar by Stancioiu after 52 minutes.

Dominique Kivuvu and De Zerbi tried without luck for Cluj, while Borriello went for a second but found his way blocked by Ionut Rada. Borriello went closer after 66 minutes when his 12-yard effort was saved by Stancioiu, before Kivuvu fired over at the other end.

Totti still could not find the target as he dragged an effort wide from inside the box in the 70th minute. For Cluj, Traore was looking dangerous as he tested Lobont from inside the area in the 77th minute, then saw his close-range header held by the Romania goalkeeper.

He missed another good chance with five minutes to go, heading Emmanuel Culio's cross over, but three minutes later he got his goal. Again it was a cross from Culio, but this time he made no mistake with the header, and Lobont was beaten.