Budel brilliance lifts Parma
Thursday, 4 November 2004
By Paolo Menicucci at the Ennio Tardini
 Alessandro Budel's goal ten minutes from time was enough to give Parma FC a vital victory against Walter Zenga's FC Steaua Bucuresti and move them level with the Romanian side in UEFA Cup Group B.
 Parma dominated large periods of the game and could have broken the deadlock through Massimo Maccarone, the striker fully recovered from his knee problem, before Budel came to their rescue. The midfield player latched on to Marco Marchionni's pass to beat Steaua goalkeeper Martin Tudor with a powerful left-footed effort.
 With his side struggling in Serie A, Parma coach Silvio Baldini ensured Alberto Gilardino, Daniele Bonera and Domenico Morfeo were all rested while Marchionni, Sébastien Frey and Mark Bresciano started on the bench.
 The visitors were still without defender Tiberiu Curt and they nearly found themselves a goal behind after just three minutes. Sorin Ghionea sent an errant back-pass into the path of a charging Maccarone but Tudor did well to rush out and block.
 Four minutes later Maccarone went close with a right-footed shot that Tudor deflected wide for a corner then Steaua captain Mirel Radoi denied compatriot Ianis Zicu with a superb sliding tackle after Alessandro Rosina's low cross.
 Daniel Oprita headed wide at the other end but the game's biggest threat was Maccarone, who drew a fine diving save from Tudor with a 25-metre strike then headed fractionally wide just before half-time.
 Gianluca Berti was forced into a difficult save to deny Steaua's Nicolae Dica and as the second half wore on it appeared his side would have to make do with a point, but Budel had other ideas. Parma next visit R. Standard de Liège while Steaua welcome Besiktas JK to Romania.