Birmingham City FC fought back from two goals down to earn the first home point of their UEFA Europa League campaign after an entertaining 2-2 draw with Club Brugge KV in Group H.
Jean Beausejour's powerful finish on 55 minutes and Marlon King's penalty with 16 minutes left rescued a point for Birmingham, who had leaked goals by Thomas Meunier and Joseph Akpala in the six minutes before half-time.
Boasting wins in their last two games, Birmingham's confidence was high heading into this fixture, but Chris Hughton's side were shaken as they conceded a quick-fire double moments before the interval. First the unchallenged Meunier fired in from a Víctor Vázquez corner, and then Nigerian striker Akpala punished a Beausejour mistake by tapping in his third effort of the competition a minute before the break.
Birmingham piled on the pressure after the restart, and got the goal their attacking industry deserved, Beausejour finishing emphatically at the far post after Nikola Žigić's blocked shot had dropped his way. The roar from the crowd was deafening, although Club Brugge's Vadis Odjidja soon reminded the hosts of his own team's attacking threat with a curling shot from the edge of the area that cracked off the base of a post.
Despite that scare, the Blues had the wind in their sails and drove for an equaliser. Žigić forced Vladan Kujović into a smart save when one on one after 64 minutes, before the Club Brugge keeper outdid himself, sensationally tipping Guirane N'daw's thunderous volley against an upright.
Moments later came the Birmingham breakthrough, as a quick counterattack pitted Beausejour against Ryan Donk, who felled the tricky Chilean and conceded a spot kick. Substitute King coolly slotted into the bottom left corner, sending Kujović the wrong way and keeping his side in contention to qualify from a tight section.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.