DAVID SMITH - Thursday, October 3, 2013
Last-minute drama was the order of the day in the Europa League, with both Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson seeing the outcome of their respective games decided by injury-time equalizers.
Rapid Vienna 2 - 2 Dynamo Kyiv
Terrence Boyd was in the starting lineup for Rapid Vienna as team captain Christopher Trimmel salvaged a draw for the hosts with a dramatic 94th-minute equalizer.
The American striker played the full 90 minutes, picking up his first yellow card of the group stage in the process.
The game was a tale of two halves, with the Ukrainian Premier League's third-place finishers owning the first half, but wastefully losing their balance in the final 45 minutes.
At the half-hour mark, Dynamo surged ahead thanks to their captain, who was waiting at the penalty spot to put way a cross from near the left corner flag off the foot of Benoît Trémoulinas.
Rapid looked headed for home embarrassment when, four minutes later, Stephan Palla made a mess of a clearance after a slick one-two move from Dynamo attackers Younes Belhanda and Dieumerci Mbokani. Palla's attempt to kick the ball to safety instead flew directly towards the head of Christopher Dibon, who was helpless in avoiding the ignominy of scoring the own-goal for the 2-0 Dynamo lead.
To their credit, the Austrians were able to reverse course after the break, pulling one back in the 53rd minute from the foot of Guido Burgstaller, who connected with Palla's cross for a left-footed strike to the lower right corner of goal.
Then with the final seconds ticking away, Palla again helped atone for his earlier mistake, aiming a cross through the area which Trimmel headed in for the final 2-2 score.
Rapid are now tied at the bottom of Group G with Dynamo with each team having just one point. They will next face group leaders Genk in Belgium in three weeks, but must first contend with domestic play with a visit to SC Wiener Neustadt on Sunday.
AZ Alkmaar 1 - 1 PAOK Thessaloniki
Aron Johannsson played all but second-half injury time on Thursday night, as AZ were dealt a bitter disappointment thanks to a last-minute equalizer by PAOK substitute Dimitris Salpingidis.
An open game saw both teams create multiple chances throughout the first and second half, with Johannsson in the thick of AZ's attack and being responsible for one of the team's best chances with a 71st minute header off the crossbar.
The hosts did push increasingly hard as the game entered its final phase, and looked to have found the winning goal with nine minutes on the clock as late substitute Willy Overtoom's cross from the right side found Jeffrey Gouweleeuw waiting at the far post for a straightforward finish.
Johannsson exited the game in the first of four added minutes, and was forced to watch what was a disappointing finish from the sideline.
After Dimitris Salpingidis was fouled on the left side by Swede defender Mattias Johansson, Stefanos Athanasiadis fired the resulting free kick through the crowd in the box where Salpingidis was waiting at the far post to poke in the equalizer.
The result leaves the two teams tied atop Group L on points with four apiece, with the Greeks holding the slight edge in total goals scored.
AZ will face the first of two games against Kazakhstani champions Shakhter Karagandy in three weeks, but must first visit FC Groningen on Sunday in Eredivisie action.
Brad Friedel was the backup keeper for Tottenham on Thursday as the team took control of Group K with a 2-0 win on the road at Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala.
Caleb Stanko was an unused substitute for ten-man SC Freiburg as they fell on the road to Spanish team Sevilla on Thursday by a 2-0 score.