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Last-gasp Damari denies Académica

A. Académica de Coimbra 1-1 Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC
Omer Damari capped mounting late pressure by heading in a 92nd-minute equaliser to deny Académica a first European win in 43 years.

John Pantsil celebrates Hapoel's equaliser
John Pantsil celebrates Hapoel's equaliser ©Getty Images

Omer Damari spoiled A. Académica de Coimbra's dream of a first European win in nearly 43 years as his 92nd-minute header earned Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC a share of the spoils.

Salim Cissé's sensational effort two minutes into the second period looked like being enough for the home side, but amid mounting late pressure they eventually cracked. Gil Vermouth's sumptuous cross finally unlocked their defence and it was emphatically met at the far post by Damari to earn Yossi Abukasis a 1-1 draw in his first match at the Hapoel helm.

The sides began the day rooted to the foot of UEFA Europa League Group B following matchday one defeats and avoiding another seemed paramount in a cautious first half. Académica enjoyed more possession, but there was little in the way of end product until an innocuous enough looking cross from Marinho was acrobatically directed in over his own shoulder by Cissé, striking the ball in an almost lateral bicycle kick.

Cleyton ought to have doubled the lead soon after when, unmarked at the far post, he headed João Dias' cross into the ground and onto the crossbar. The home team threatened to take a firm grip on the game and Marinho, too, hit the woodwork. So long as there was only one goal in it, the game hung in the balance, though Académica's well-marshalled offside trap largely kept the visitors at bay.

Zeev Haimovich was nonetheless able to cause a scare when his deep ball was directed against the top of the bar, before Damari squandered a gilt-edged chance with eight minutes left, denied by Ricardo's outstretched leg after being sent clear following a lovely exchange. Wilson Eduardo was similarly guilty at the other end, shooting too close to Édel Apoula – and how Damari would make Académica pay.