Henrik Larsson scored a late equaliser to cancel out Fanourios Goundoulakis's first-half opener for Panionios GSS and spare Helsingborgs IF the disappointment of an opening Group H defeat.
The Allsvenskan side seemed destined for a surprise reverse after Goundoulakis struck a sublime opener in first-half stoppage time. The culmination of a barrage of attacks from the visitors, the strike proved to be Panionios's last meaningful contribution before Larsson, profiting from Christoffer Andersson's cross, pounced seven minutes from time. Panionios still had the chance to seal the points through Ioannis Kondis, but Daniel Andersson rescued his side with a superb save.
Panionios were the better team from the off. Bennard Kumordzi blazed wide as early as the second minute, Konstantinos Kapetanos's long-range shot brought a save from Andersson, and Kapetanos then fired over when presented with a second chance. A quarter of an hour had passed before Helsingborg worked a noteworthy opening – Razak Omotoyossi firing wide of the near post – and another 16 minutes went by before Andreas Dahl's corner found Ólafur Ingi Skúlason, whose weak header was thumped clear by Nikos Spiropoulos.
In between, Rafik Djebbour and Grigorios Makos threatened for the visitors, who took the lead a minute into added time. Kumordzi found space on the left and his cross was thundered into the top-right corner by Goundoulakis. Helsingborg improved after the break and within five minutes of the restart both René Makondele and Andersson went close to an equaliser, while Omotoyossi forced Dario Kresic to tip his 52nd-minute drive around the post. But then Larsson struck, racing on to Andersson's left-wing cross and finishing well from 12 metres. There was almost a final twist, too, but Andersson denied Kondis a match-winning volley.
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