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Standard fail to overcome ten-man Wisła

Wisła Kraków 1-1 R. Standard de Liège
Despite being down to ten men for over an hour, the Polish champions go into the second leg all square courtesy of Tsvetan Genkov's late equaliser.

Tsvetan Genkov wheels away after his late equaliser
Tsvetan Genkov wheels away after his late equaliser ©Getty Images

Tsvetan Genkov scored a late equaliser for ten-man Wisła Kraków to ensure their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie against R. Standard de Liège hangs in the balance going into next week's return in Belgium.

Wisła started brightly but found themselves trailing and reduced to ten men before the half-hour when Michał Czekaj was dismissed for a foul on Yoni Buyens; Gohi Bi Cyriac converted the resulting penalty. Undeterred, the hosts grabbed a worthy equaliser two minutes from time through Genkov, who got in front of his marker to bundle in Maor Melikson's free-kick.

The Polish champions dominated possession early on and it was not long before their excellent passing produced the first chance of the game. Patryk Małecki's shot fell kindly for Łukasz Garguła who dragged his effort past the left post. Małecki came close again soon after, firing a free-kick against the crossbar with Sinan Bolat rooted to the spot.

The game swung in the visitors' favour on 27 minutes when Czekaj felled Buyens in the penalty area. The defender received his marching orders and Cyriac kept his cool to convert from the spot with a Panenka-style penalty. Yet Standard failed to make the extra player count as Wisła continued to create chances.

Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to inject some impetus for the visitors midway through the second half, and the 18-year-old nearly made an instant impact. He neatly evaded the attentions of Júnior Díaz on the edge of the box only for his drive to be saved low to his left by Sergei Pareiko.

Standard boasted the best defence in the group stage, conceding just once in six games, and their back line appeared to have repelled everything Kazimierz Moskal's side had to throw at them. Genkov had other ideas, though, ensuring the sides go into next week's second leg all square.