Real Madrid CF came back from two goals down to draw with FC Dynamo Kyiv to ensure both teams remain level on points at the summit of UEFA Champions League Group B with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who drew with AS Roma.
Experience pays off
Madrid were on the verge of a second successive away defeat in the competition when they went two down inside 25 minutes through Ayila Yussuf and Maris Verpakovskis. But the memory of their Matchday 2 victory against Roma, when they recovered from 2-0 down to win 4-2, galvanised them, and Raúl González and Luís Figo levelled the game.
There was a double boost for Dynamo as defenders Goran Gavrancic and Rodolfo passed late fitness tests before kick-off. Diogo Rincón was also recalled. Figo was back for Madrid but Walter Samuel joined David Beckham and Jonathan Woodgate among those that did not travel.
Never mind a game of two halves, the first period was a half of two halves. Madrid dominated the early stages but failed to threaten. It was Dynamo, attacking on the break like an away side, who scored with their first effort. Rincón created the chance, exchanging passes with Yussuf, who hit a low shot from 20 metres. The effort cannoned off the leg of the lunging Francisco Pavón, bounced into the turf and looped into the net, wrong-footing Iker Casillas.
If that goal was fortunate, there was nothing lucky about Dynamo's second, with Rincón again a key figure. The Brazilian threaded the ball into Verpakovskis, who took advantage of Míchel Salgado standing off him to cut inside and drill a fierce shot low into the far corner.
Raúl nears record
Madrid captain Raúl, who inspired that win over Roma, started the comeback again, with a sharp turn and shot after Figo's defence-splitting pass on 38 minutes. That strike left him one goal away from equalling Alfredo Di Stéfano's record of 49 goals in the European Champion Clubs' Cup.
As half-time approached, Casillas was called upon to punch away an Oleh Gusev drive from nine metres. But Madrid got back on level terms just before the break after Ronaldo was tripped by Badr El Kaddouri in the area. Figo, on the eve of his 32nd birthday, made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-2.
The second half started in much the same vein, with Madrid keeping the ball better but Dynamo looking dangerous on the break. Casillas was relieved to see Kleber slice a decent chance over the bar, after good work down the right by Verpakovskis. Then Yussuf volleyed over when unmarked from a corner.
Madrid had not had one shot on goal in the second half when coach Mariano García Remón made his first change, replacing Michael Owen with Albert Celades. The switch almost cost the visitors, as Celades’s first touch gave the ball away and allowed Kleber to break. Only a diving intervention from Pavón prevented him shooting.
Ronaldo came into the game more as well, and his clever pass set up Figo for a burst into the box. The Portuguese winger’s shot was punched clear by Olexandr Shovkovskiy. Better was to come on 68 minutes, when the Dynamo captain dived full-stretch to dramatically push another curling Figo effort around the post.
There was a cautious end as neither team were prepared to risk chasing the win for fear of conceding. The draw leaves both sides on level points with Leverkusen, who visit Madrid on Matchday 5 when Dynamo welcome Roma.