Azerbaijan and Luxembourg are both still looking for their first win in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F after they played out an entertaining draw in Baku.
Berti Vogts's home side had taken only three points from their first six qualifiers and passed up a number of chances to take the lead at the Dalga Stadium before finally breaking through with 19 minutes left through Ruslan Abışov. The advantage proved short-lived as Stefano Bensi brought the visitors level eight minutes later – and Azerbaijan were thankful to escape with a draw after substitute Branimir Subašić collected an 85th-minute red card.
With Cihan Özkara injured and fellow forwards Rauf Aliyev and Vüqar Nadirov suspended, the Azerbaijanis deployed 1. FC Kaiserslautern's Rüfat Dadaşov as a lone striker and consequently took time to settle. Once they did, Azerbaijan were denied by both crossbar and post before Dadaşov had a goal ruled out for offside; that was enough for visiting coach Luc Holtz to replace striker Maurice Deville with defender Tom Laterza on 27 minutes.
Luxembourg emerged a different team after half-time and Aurélien Joachim started to threaten. Vogt's charges had begun to look weary but were re-energised by Subašić's 62nd-minute introduction as a second striker. Nine minutes later Abışov headed in Araz Abdullayev's cross.
However, Luxembourg did not falter and soon equalised as Bensi found the far corner of the net with a long-range shot. Subašić was dismissed and Azerbaijan might have paid the price when Bensi was put clear; he failed to capitalise and each side had to make do with a point. They are both back in action on 6 September, Luxembourg journeying to Russia and Israel welcoming Azerbaijan.