Parma AC 3-2 PFC CSKA Moskva
(Agg: 4-3) Parma leave it late in a thriller at the Ennio Tardini stadium.
Parma AC booked their place in the UEFA Cup second round in dramatic style in the Ennio Tardini stadium as Adrian Mutu scored in injury time to give the Italians a 3-2 victory over PFC CSKA Moskva and a 4-3 overall success.
It was a fantastic achievement by Parma, the 1999 UEFA Cup winners, and particularly Mutu because it was his goal midway through the second half which fired the Italian club with belief and vigour again. They needed that lift because Sergei Semak's pair of goals in a six-minute spell at the end of the first half had suggested heartbreak for Cesare Prandelli's men.
Because of those away goals Parma had to score twice more. It was Mutu who had earned them a 1-1 draw in Moscow and he ensured they finished the job he had started. Having controlled a long punt downfield from Sébastien Frey, his touch took the ball out of reach of his marker and he then finished skilfully with a shot beyond Ruslan Nigmatullin.
Skill and slips
CSKA had looked capable of holding out with Nigmatullin mixing brave defiance with some occasional sloppy handling. He looked to be getting away with it and perhaps deserved to for the saves he made from Matteo Ferrari in the first half and later from the impressive Adriano.
Nigmatullin was not blessed with good fortune when Mutu picked up a pass to make it 2-2 on the night because that effort appeared to take two deflections before nestling into the net. And he was given no chance with the free-kick with which Adriano powered Parma into a ninth-minute lead.
It was a fantastic strike from fully 30 metres and CSKA found it hard to contain the Brazilian throughout. Another chance came 60 seconds after his goal but this time he skied his attempt.
Semak strikes twice
Semak equalised after 36 minutes when Denis Popov had nodded the ball down for his team-mate to crack a clean shot beyond Frey. His second arrived five minutes later and there was still time in the half for Adriano to equalise but his drive brushed the top of the bar.