APOEL FC came from two goals down to hold ten-man HJK Helsinki in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie.
Macoumba Kandji's dismissal after half-time proved fatal to a HJK side that had been in a commanding position. Tomás De Vincenti and Cillian Sheridan each scored for APOEL in a frantic period midway through the second half, erasing the deficit created by Demba Savage's first-half double.
Savage shone during an impressive first period for the Finnish champions, racing clear to break the deadlock after 11 minutes and converting a penalty on the cusp of the interval to stun APOEL.
Kandji's second yellow card shortly after the restart undermined the hosts' good work, and APOEL ruthlessly wiped out the advantage with two goals in four minutes. De Vincenti halved the deficit with a header before crossing for Sheridan to do likewise.
APOEL welcome HJK to the GSP Stadium in Nicosia for the decider next Wednesday.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.