By Marco Keller at the Hardturm stadium
Two late goals from Nikola Zigic saw ten-man FK Crvena Zvezda earn a 2-2 draw away against BSC Young Boys in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.
Despite being a man down after the dismissal of Dragan Stancic for a second yellow card after 58 minutes, a late spurt saw two goals from the giant Zigic, who scored 27 goals for the Serbo-Montenegrin champions last season, cancel out efforts from Stéphane Chapuisat and Adrian Eugster.
Hans-Peter Zaugg's side took the game to the visitors from the start and were ahead after just six minutes when the 35-year-old Chapuisat took full advantage of a mistake by Slavoljub Djordjevic to open the scoring with an elegant left-footed shot.
Yao Aziawonou, Francisco 'Neri' Souza and Joël Magnin all passed up presentable opportunities to double Young Boys' advantage in the next 15 minutes and for a while it seemed that Crvena Zvezda would be overwhelmed until Ljubo Petrovic's side began to find some bite on the right wing through Dušan Basta.
When a shot from almost 30 metres from Bojan Miladinovic forced Marco Wölfli to make a marvellous save after 29 minutes, the visitors came to life. Indeed, they could easily have gone into the break on level terms had Marko Pantelic not missed an easy header from close range in added time.
After Stancic was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Thomas Häberli, things seemed to be going downhill again for the Belgrade side, and although Petrovic tried to balance his midfield again, he could do nothing to prevent Eugster extending Young Boys' lead with a terrific 18-metre shot.
However, if the Swiss side thought their opponents were beaten, they were in for a shock. Crvena Zvezda were back in the game after 78 minutes when an innocuous-looking ball from Boško Jankovic wrong-footed Ivan Knez and Fernando Carreno and allowed Zigic to steal through and score.
The Swiss side kept pressing forward in search of the strike that would help to cancel out that all important away goal, but after missing some promising openings, they were made to pay as Crvena Zvezda picked their way through seven Young Boys players to set up Zigic for his second of the evening. The teams meet again next Wednesday in Belgrade.