NEC Nijmegen kept their UEFA Cup hopes alive in dramatic fashion by scoring twice in the final six minutes to move into third place and leave Group D wide open.
The Dutch Eredivisie outfit seemed to be heading out of the competition after a second-minute header from Serghei Covalciuc put FC Spartak Moskva ahead in the Russian capital. With NK Dinamo Zagreb also losing to Udinese Calcio, Spartak looked set to qualify for the Round of 32 until half-time substitute Jhon van Beukering levelled with six minutes to go and Lasse Schöne completed the turnaround three minutes later.
It had all started so well for Spartak, however, with Nikita Bazhenov's cross leaving Covalciuc with the simple task of nodding in from close range. Bazhenov then tried his luck from distance in an attempt to double the lead, first forcing a save from NEC goalkeeper Gábor Babos, then sending an effort wide.
At the other end, Schöne, Joël Tshibamba and Mostapha El Kabir all fired wide from inside the penalty area, chances which NEC were almost made to pay for missing as Babos turned Ivan Saenko's 20-metre attempt around a post. Van Beukering replaced Tshibamba at the break and immediately signalled his intentions by eliciting a stop from Spartak goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.
Opportunities were being created by either side and Bazhenov thought he had made it 2-0, only for Babos to turn his strike away for a corner. Despite the lack of a second goal it appeared that Spartak would take the points, especially when El Kabir and Youssef El-Akchaoui wasted openings for the visitors.
Babos was continuing to excel, meanwhile, frustrating Aleksandr Prudnikov and Roman Shishkin, saves which would prove decisive as NEC turned the tide late on. First substitute Collins John set up Van Beukering to head in and, with time ticking away, Schöne rifled a left-footed shot low past Pletikosa.