FC Astra Giurgiu 0 - 0 Inverness CT

Europa League - Q2-Leg2
Thursday, July 23rd, 2015, 9:00 PM at Stadionul Marin Anastasovici, Giurgiu, Romania
Attendance: 3,067
Referee: Artyom Kuchin (KAZ)
FC Astra Giurgiu Inverness CT

Goalscorers
None. None.

Team Managers
Marius Șumudică John Hughes

Starting Eleven
Silviu Lung
Geraldo Alves
Junior Morais
Valerica Gaman
Pedro Queiros
Takayuki Seto
Gabriel Enache
Fernando Boldrin
Filipe Teixeira
William Amorim
Constantin Budescu
Owain Fon Williams
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
David Raven
Daniel Devine
Aaron Doran
Greg Tansey
Ryan Christie
Danny Williams
Nat Wedderburn
Dani Lpez

Bench
George Gavrilas
Constantin Florea
Cristian Oros
Florin Lovin
Alexandru Dandea
Ricardo Alves
Alexandru Stan
Ryan Esson
Liam Polworth
Ross Draper
Jason Brown
Lewis Horner
Richie Foran

Substitutions
Constantin Florea -> Gabriel Enache (81)
Alexandru Dandea -> Fernando Boldrin (85)
Florin Lovin -> Constantin Budescu (89)
Richie Foran for Danny Williams (78)
Ross Draper for Nat Wedderburn (79)

Bookings
Silviu Lung (90) David Raven (38)
Danny Williams (62)
Dani Lpez (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Owain Fon Williams (GK) 2 apps -
Josh Meekings 150 apps4 goals
Daniel Devine 40 apps1 goal
David Raven 116 apps2 goals
Gary Warren 121 apps12 goals
Nat Wedderburn 2 apps -
Danny Williams 67 apps4 goals
Ryan Christie 61 apps7 goals
Aaron Doran 154 apps20 goals
Greg Tansey 104 apps16 goals
Dani Lpez 2 apps -
Ross Draper (sub) 121 apps7 goals
Richie Foran (sub) 200 apps44 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Daniel Devine (22 years 324 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2016 years 359 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 86 days
Domestic Players:6 (54.55 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Jason Brown (19 years 20 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2016 years 359 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 125 days
Domestic Players:11 (64.71 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones
Richie Foran made his 200th competitive appearance for the Club.

Astra scrape through:

It was Blue Danube for the Caley Jags fans as Inverness Caledonian Thistle bowed out of Europe after a goalless draw in Romania, by the banks of the majestic river, was not enough to get them through to an all British clash with West Ham United.

Constantin Budescu's first leg goal was all that separated the sides as Inverness tried to draw the tie level, but despite an excellent performance, the lack of a proven goal scorer would haunt Inverness in Giurgiu in front of an amazing 550 touring fans who gave the club tremendous backing throughout.

The fans made magnificent sacrifices to get over to Romania to back the Scottish Cup winners and the journey was enjoyed by everyone in the old city of Bucharest as red and blue took over the side streets of the Romanian capital, kilts aplenty. Most fans made it back in one piece and they were all a credit to Inverness and the club.

The temperature at kick off had dropped slightly, but sufficient to say it was much hotter than Inverness on a good day.

Astra were in a bit of turmoil, a 5-1 thrashing by ASA Targu Mures last weekend and a couple of their top players being poached by Steaua Bucharest gave Inverness hope that they could add further misery to the Romanian camp.

David Raven replaced Ross Draper in the starting eleven, playing at left back.

It was another cagey opening to the tie as expected, Inverness not wanting to give anything away and Astra content to sit on their first leg lead. The only notable attempt in the first half was a tremendous shot from Ryan Christie just before the interval that Silviu Lung Jr in the Astra goal brilliantly kept out of the top corner.

Half Time 0-0

The first leg villain Owain Fon Williams had nothing to deal with in a low key first half but gathered a low shot from danger man Budescu almost ten minutes into the second period. Moments later Williams made an excellent save beating out a Budescu shot from 25 yards as the Romanian side came forward. A Junior Morais attempt was tipped over by Fon Williams as Astra looked to kill the tie and a header from Geraldo Alves went wide as the game came to life.

The lack of a main striker was proving difficult for Inverness to overcome, Lopez dropping deeper to try and get on the ball and Inverness struggling to make headway in the final third. With fifteen minutes remaining, Aaron Doran spurned a great chance for the Highlanders when he hit a shot into the turf and that took the sting out of it as Lung gathered easily.

With Inverness now probing for a leveller, Budescu should have done better as we were caught chasing the game but passed up two glorious chances to ensure victory.

Foran and Draper made late entrances, but for Inverness it was not quite enough, but it wasn't for a lack of effort or class as Astra saw out the game, Lung booked for taking the proverbial eternity. It might have been different earlier in the game if Christie had been given the penalty his assault deserved, but alas the referee never looked interested.

Full Time 0-0

Aggregate 1-0. Astra through to meet West Ham United, good luck to them.

Ryan Christie shone bright over both legs and was our star player, with Budescu being the prominent driver for Astra.

Ach well, great while it lasted and I'm sure everybody that went along will be looking for a repeat next year.

Domestic business as usual starts again on 1st August with a home game against Motherwell. This team deserves a massive welcome home, so let's turn out in force.

link to youTube footage of fans by Ross Lyall. RIP Ross.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3-Cf0DmmTY

Match report written by tm4tj