AS Livorno Calcio keeper Marco Amelia turned unlikely goalscorer to give his side a dramatic UEFA Cup Group A draw with FK Partizan.
Nenad Mirosavljević's 70th-minute strike looked to have been enough for the Belgrade club, but Amelia advanced upfield to head in with just two minutes remaining to earn European debutants Livorno their first point in the pool, level with Partizan who have a game in hand.
Livorno, who had lost their opening group fixture at home to Rangers FC, were without injured defenders Rahman Rezaei and Dario Knežević, while midfielder César Prates was rested by coach Daniele Arrigoni. Both teams struggled to create chances in the early stages, but Partizan eventually caught a glimpse of goal after 13 minutes when Nebojša Marinković fired narrowly wide.
Five minutes later, Branimir Bajić managed to get his foot to a Marko Lomić corner, yet his effort was cleared off the line by Livorno defender Samuel Kuffour. The hosts continued to come forward and Mirosavljević missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring when he pushed the ball wide from five metres. Livorno were finding it hard to get out of their half and Predrag Lazić warmed the hands of Amelia with a stinging strike following a cross from Obiora Odita.
As the first half drew to a close, the visitors hit back with chances of their own, Cristiano Lucarelli volleying Alessandro Grandoni's centre over the bar before Ibrahima Bakayoko tried his luck with an attempt that shaved the left post. Livorno's best moment then came in stoppage time when defender Nemanja Rnić was forced to turn Bakayoko's powerful shot away from the Partizan goal.
Home side ahead
The second period followed a similar pattern to the opening 45 minutes with Livorno having to defend from the off. Odita tried a lob from distance that dropped just over the bar, before Amelia made another good stop to keep out Marinković's drive from the edge of the area. Partizan eventually made the breakthrough as Mirosavljević shot home, however, and Nenad Djordjević and Bajić could then have put the result beyond doubt, both firing over.
Instead Livorno were to equalise in unlikely circumstances when Amelia charged forward and got his head to Dario Passoni's free-kick. In three weeks' time Partizan go to Maccabi Haifa FC, whom Livorno welcome the following week.