UC Sampdoria 2-2 Aalborg BK
The Danish visitors earned a hard-earned first-leg draw in Genoa after withstanding a late charge.
Aalborg BK earned a precious 2-2 first-leg draw against UC Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in the UEFA Cup first round after withstanding a late charge.
The home side went ahead on 19 minutes when Gennaro Delvecchio stretched to score from close range following a Paolo Sammarco free-kick. However, the Danish side quickly levelled and after weathering a fraught spell of pressure from Sampdoria, they went ahead when Andreas Johansson's deflected shot beat Luca Castellazzi. Claudio Bellucci soon restored parity once more but a winner proved elusive.
The Blucerchiati must have sensed they were not going to have it all their own way when, no sooner had Delvecchio broken the deadlock, forward Rade Prica equalised with a thunderous free-kick from 30 meters. Thomas Enevoldsen almost gave the visitors the lead before half-time but it was Sampdoria who started the second period brightest, and after Bellucci sent an acrobatic effort just wide, defender Alessandro Bastrini was denied by the upright.
Instead it was the visitors that went 2-1 up two minutes later through Johansson though again the advantage was fleeting as AaB's fellow UEFA Intertoto Cup winners Sampdoria equalised five minutes later when Bellucci headed in substitute Vincenzo Montella's cross. The former AS Roma forward almost grabbed victory but his shot was well saved by goalkeeper Karim Zaza.