Yugoslavian midfield player Ivan Ergic was the hero for FC Basel after his last-minute equaliser gave the Swiss champions an unlikely point in a 2-2 draw with Valencia CF on Matchday Four of the UEFA Champions League.
Yugoslavian scores twice
Valencia led after Rubén Baraja had cancelled out Ergic's first-half opener and defender Curro Torres turned striker to score with 18 minutes remaining. However, Ergic had other ideas, scoring again with the visitors down to ten men after Roberto Ayala's late dismissal.
Changes for Basel
Both sides rang the changes from Valencia's 6-2 win in the reverse fixture on Matchday Three. Basel coach Christian Gross brought in Marco Zwyssig and Grégory Duruz in defence and deployed Ergic, who is part-owned by Juventus FC, in midfield.
New-look Valencia attack
Meanwhile, with Pablo Aimar injured, Valencia coach Rafael Benítez left out John Carew and combined Mista and Juan Sánchez up front, with Kily González and Gonzalo de los Santos returning in midfield.
Although Valencia began the game dominating possession - as they had in their three competition wins so far - Basel's positive play gave the home side hope and on 32 minutes, Egric put them ahead after a great move. The ball was squared to him by Hakan Yakin, and the midfield player shot in from the edge of the area for the 2,500th goal in Champions League football.
Valencia were nearly level immediately when the ball fell to Mista just a few metres from the Basel goal, but home captain Murat Yakin was able to head the cross over the crossbar. However, the lead did indeed prove short-lived as Rubén Baraja equalised with a shot from more than 30 metres that Pascal Zuberbühler was unable to direct over the bar.
The rest of the half flowed from end to end, and Antonio Esposito went closest two minutes from the break when his first-time shot flew just wide with the diving Santiago Cañizares beaten.
There was little change in the second half, and Valencia had the first chance of the period when Baraja's well-hit shot was saved at full-stretch by Zuberbühler. Christian Giménez shot wide soon after for Basel, but it was the visitors who were on the scoresheet next.
Defender on target
Curro Torres was the man on target, poking past Zuberbühler after beating the Basel offside trap and chesting the ball down sweetly following De los Santos's perfect chip into the box.
It seemed Valencia were heading for victory and a second group stage slot, but they lost Ayala when he received a second yellow card two minutes from the end for impeding the lively Hakan Yakin.
It was the same player's free-kick that Egric was first to with seconds left of regulation time to sweep into the net and end Valencia's winning run in the competition. The Spaniards remain three points clear of second-placed Liverpool FC in Group B but Basel, just two points behind Liverpool, can also still dream of an extended Champions League run.