An injury-time goal from Daniel Rednic gave MTK Hungária FC a 3-1 advantage against Finnish champions HJK Helsinki after the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie in Budapest.
Game of two halves
The Hungarian champions looked on course for a comfortable home victory following two first-half goals from Brazilian striker Welton Da Silva. But once Mika Kottila hit back for the visitors shortly after the break, HJK were in control and MTK fans had reason to worry until Rednic popped up two minutes into time added on to double the lead ahead of next week's return leg.
Da Silva struck first in the 37th minute when he collected a pass from Sandor Torghelle before unleashing a 25-metre shot past András Vilnrotter in the HJK goal. Five minutes later, MTK scored again when Vilnrotter parried Torghelle's shot into Da Silva's path, and the Brazilian was left with the simple task of slotting the ball into the net from close range.
After the interval, HJK dominated and carved out good scoring chances with regularity. Their reward came early when Kottila headed in from a corner in the 53rd minute shortly after he had failed to connect with a loose ball with the goal at his mercy. HJK also threatened when their Hungarian forward László Fekete crossed for Ridvan Zeneli, but MTK goalkeeper Zoltán Vegh was on hand to make the save. Then Kottila went close again in the 62nd minute only to see his shot cannon off the crossbar.
MTK, however, had the last laugh when Rednic scored from eleven metres with their only counterattack of the second half. But with their away goal registered, HJK may still fancy their chances in the return leg with the winners of the tie facing either Celtic FC or FBK Kaunas in the third qualifying round.