Parma AC conceded what could prove to be a costly goal at home despite securing a first-leg victory against Wisla Kraków in the UEFA Cup second round.
Strong under fire
Parma went ahead through midfield player Massimo Donati but the Polish team came out after the break fighting and shocked Cesare Prandelli's team by equalising. The match would have had an entirely different complexion had Wisla then profited from a spell of sustained pressure – but the hosts were in resilient mood.
Wisla gave Parma more trouble than they expected in midfield and preventing the home team from taking an early stranglehold. It was even the visitors who enjoyed the first clear-cut chance when Kamil Kosowski broke free to shoot from inside the area and forced a stop from goalkeeper Sèbastien Frey on 18 minutes.
Donato wonder strike
However, the Italian side soon stopped Wisla in their tracks when Donato struck on 26 minutes, rounding a number of opponents before unleashing a powerful right-foot drive past stationary custodian Angelo Hugues. Wisla reacted by foraging forwards at every opportunity, leaving gaps at the back. Mutu, played in by the impressive Donati, only had Hugues to beat on 40 minutes but somehow contrived to skew wide.
Wisla, however, were back on level terms immediately after the restart when striker Maciej Zurawski took advantage of careless defending from Daniele Bonera to slot past Frei. The goal had an invigorating effect and Zurawski should have collected his second on 60 minutes but scuffed his shot and the ball sailed over the bar.
The miss was costly because 14 minutes later Mutu struck the winner when his free-kick beat the wall and left Hugues with no chance. From there on, Wisla were lucky not to concede again, Sabri Lamouchi wasting two good chances in the last five minutes.
Prandelli believed his side should have made lighter work of the win. "The result is fair and we earned it but we suffered a lot. We were fully aware of their potential as they have a strong and quick style of play.”
Wisla coach Henryk Kaszterczak claimed his side have it all to play for at home in a fortnight's time. He said: “I’m not completely satisfied with this performance, but we deserved the equaliser. Even if we lost it’s important to have scored an away goal and we have a good chance of making progress.”