Substitute Yevhen Seleznyov scored within seconds of coming on to snatch a 1-1 draw for Dnipro in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final against Napoli.
David Lopez had put the home side in front at Stadio San Paolo with his first Napoli goal and the Serie A outfit looked nailed on for victory.
However, Seleznyov came off the bench to net a close-range equaliser – and what could prove to be a crucial away goal – 10 minutes from time.
Napoli looked brightest early on and came close to an opener when Lorenzo Insigne struck the outside of the left-hand post.
Dnipro settled as the half progressed, but rarely threatened and it took Napoli little time to forge ahead after the interval.
Gonzalo Higuain spurned numerous chances to extend the advantage after Lopez had opened the scoring and Seleznyov pounced to punish that profligacy, denting Napoli’s hopes of reaching a first European final since 1989.
Both sides struggled to get a meaningful shot away in the opening stages, although Napoli were on the front foot and very nearly went ahead in the 10th minute when Insigne’s half-volley from 25 yards drifted wide via the post.
Napoli continued to look most likely to break the deadlock against a Dnipro side who were struggling to find fluency, but Insigne could not tuck the ball under goalkeeper Denys Boyko from close range having been played in by Lopez.
Dnipro’s first chance came midway through the half when Jaba Kankava’s low strike from outside the box was palmed wide by Mariano Andujar, although the Georgian became the first man to go into the referee’s book moments later for a reckless lunge on Jorginho.
Frustrations among home fans and players grew as Dnipro started to establish more of a foothold in the match and the visitors will have been delighted to make it to the break without any further threats on their goal.
Leo Matos’ desperate last-ditch header denied Napoli a goal early in the second half, but it proved to only be a momentary respite as Lopez sent the hosts in front soon after.
The Spaniard rose highest to nod home from a corner, with Boyko having wandered into no-man’s land.
A chance to make it 2-0 swiftly followed – Higuain’s effort bouncing wide off Boyko’s thigh – before the Argentine fired straight at the Dnipro stopper having beaten Douglas down the right.
Napoli clearly wanted a second goal, throwing players forward at every counter attack, with Boyko again on hand to keep out Higuain.
The duel continued as Boyko tipped over a Higuain chip, before Dnipro, whose attacking threat was largely non-existent during the second half, pulled level to stun the stadium into silence.
Artem Fedetskiy whipped in a perfect cross from the right, allowing Seleznyov to touch home from close range amid claims of offside against the substitute.
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