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Dinamo's late leveller denies Ludogorets

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 1-1 GNK Dinamo Zagreb
A last-gasp strike from Ante Rukavina earned Dinamo a dramatic draw with a priceless away goal.

Ludogorets and Dinamo Zagreb played out a draw in the first leg in Bulgaria
Ludogorets and Dinamo Zagreb played out a draw in the first leg in Bulgaria ©Stoyan Georgiev

European debutants PFC Ludogorets Razgrad had a famous victory and a clean sheet snatched from their grasp in the final seconds as GNK Dinamo Zagreb grabbed a dramatic UEFA Champions League second qualifying round first-leg draw in Bulgaria.

Ante Rukavina was the hero for Dinamo, applying the headed finish to Sammir's delivery to cancel out Marcelinho's 67th-minute strike with an away goal. That could prove decisive come next Wednesday's second leg in Zagreb as Dinamo bid for another group campaign.

Ivaylo Petev's side started brightly and could have taken an early lead but for Ivan Kelava's point-blank save from Marcelinho. The visitors defended solidly, attacking on the counter and Ivan Tomečak put their best first-half chance over the bar. Ludogorets broke Dinamo's resistance in the 67th minute, when Ivan Stoyanov's perfect cross from the right picked out Marcelinho, who headed past Kelava.

Júnior Caiçara was needed to clear Fatos Beqiraj's shot off the line ten minutes later as Ludogorets held on until the franctic final moments. After a fine surging run by defender Domagoj Vida the ball broke to Sammir, whose first-time, looping cross was met by the head of substitute Rukavina.

The goal not only denied Ludogorets a dream debut, but also ended Dinamo's seven-match UEFA Champions League losing streak, dating back to last season's play-off second leg against Malmö FF. The advantage in this tie now lies with the Croatian champions.