An added-time header from substitute Martin Vingaard salvaged a first-leg draw for FC København after Manchester City FC had twice taken the lead at the Parken Stadium.
The midfield player's goal was cruel luck on City, who were on course for victory thanks to Stephen Ireland's tenth goal of the season. Nedum Onuoha also found the target before Ailton Almeida raised FCK's spirits by pulling them level. The tie concludes in England next Thursday, with the winners likely to meet Aalborg BK in the next round after the Danish champions defeated RC Deportivo La Coruña 3-0 last night.
Neither side fashioned an opening in the early stages, and when one did arrive – after visiting goalkeeper Shay Given dropped William Kvist's corner – Pablo Zabaleta was on hand to clear. At the other end, Robinho worked a chance for Shaun Wright-Phillips who was denied by Jesper Christiansen's left leg after the winger found himself one-on-one with the København No1.
Christiansen was caught out moments later, though, as he allowed Onuoha's weak shot from just inside the area to go through his hands. Zabaleta should have extended the advantage before the break but, after dispossessing Ulrik Laursen, the Argentinian dragged his effort wide from a tight angle.
The visitors might have been looking comfortable, but that changed when Almeida broke free and powerfully headed another Kvist corner beyond Given. Parity was to last just five minutes as Wright-Phillips crossed from the right for the unmarked Ireland, whose first-time finish from 12 metres flashed past Christiansen.
Robinho and Wright-Phillips were frustrated by Christiansen as they looked for a third goal which could have made the return a formality, misses they were made to rue in time added on as Vingaard rose superbly to head in following great play down the right flank by fellow substitute Dame Ndoye.