An acrobatic winning goal in added time from Dick van Burik gave Hertha BSC Berlin a dramatic victory in this UEFA Cup fourth round first-leg encounter at the Olympiastadion after Boavista FC had twice come from behind.
Time running out
Time appeared to have run out for Hertha as the game entered the third and final minute of time added on, but with almost the last kick of the game, the Dutch defender rose to flick Pál Dárdai's cross past Ricardo in the Boavista goal.
Alves strikes first
Hertha had seemed on course for victory when Alex Alves volleyed Michael Preetz's flick-on past Ricardo on 15 minutes. Hertha were bossing proceedings and might have gone further ahead on the half-hour. The lively Marcelinho slid a pass through to Michael Preetz who took the ball round Éder only to drag his shot wide.
Boavista hit back
Boavista then began to come more into the match. On 36 minutes Pedrosa shot fiercely from the edge of the area only for Gábor Kiraly to save well low to his right, but he had no chance just a minute later when defender Rui Óscar released a left-foot volley from distance that dipped in at the far post.
Alves at the double
The goal came against the run of play, but Hertha were soon back in command, Marcelinho flighting a cross from midway inside the Boavista half that split the defence and allowed Alves to head his second of the evening emphatically from just inside the area on 43 minutes. Hertha should have stretched their lead on 52 minutes. Marcelinho played Preetz through on goal, but the tall striker again failed to find the target.
Having survived that scare, Boavista tightened up considerably and, after restricting Hertha in midfield, began to fashion chances of their own. On 67 minutes Pedrosa brought a stunning save from Kiraly who tipped a rasping drive on to the post.
Then, nine minutes before the end, the Portuguese side drew level. Pedrosa's long-range free-kick deflected high into the air off the Hertha wall and into the path of substitute Alexandre Goulart who took the ball on his chest before firing first time past Kiraly to put Boavista level on the night, and, with two away goals, seemingly in control of the tie. But, with the clock ticking down, Van Burik set up a dramatic second leg with his last-minute heroics.
The Boavista coach, Jaime Pacheco, is confident his side can progress despite Hertha's late winning goal. "I'm not pleased to have conceded three goals, but a team that scores twice in the away game should be able to get through to the next round," he said.
His Hertha counterpart, Huub Stevens, did not let Van Burik's late strike mask his own disappointment. "The third goal did not really calm me down," he said. "If we play in Porto like we did here, there will be no point in travelling there."