Luiz Adriano cancelled out Stanislav Tecl's opener in the space of four second-half minutes to leave FC Shakhtar Donetsk with an away-goal advantage over FC Viktoria Plzeň in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.
The Czech champions barely had time to celebrate taking the lead in this battle of UEFA Champions League refugees when Shakhtar captain Darijo Srna's long ball over the top had them scampering; Luiz Adriano brought it down before clipping a shot past Matúš Kozáčik. It could have got worse for Plzeň, Alex Teixeira bending an effort around the post after a buccaneering sally down the right minutes later.
Neither club had played a competitive game since December, and both looked relieved to have the chance to burn off pent-up energy. Douglas Costa set the tone for a first half that was big on stylish groundwork but lacking in finishing touches inside five minutes, shimmying through two Plzeň defenders before striking wide. Taison then received some hard stares from his team-mates, looping the ball wide after a quick-fire Shakhtar raid left him with a more or less unguarded net to aim at.
Plzeň, though, are no lightweights in this competition. Skipper Pavel Horváth – 39 in April – came close to a brilliant opener after spotting Andriy Pyatov fractionally too far off his line, but his attempt from out on the right dipped just over the crossbar. It was the midfield talisman's delivery from a free-kick that triggered Plzeň's breakthrough, Marián Čišovský nodding the ball down for Tecl to head over the line on 62 minutes.
Those celebrations were soon cut short, although home coach Dušan Uhrin Jr had reason to be satisfied with a draw in his first game in charge, the Ukrainian titleholders having stretched his side more and more in the closing stages.
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