Great comeback earns Valletta a 2-2 draw in Luxembourg

Champions Valletta came back from two goals down to hold F91 Dudelange in a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round at the Stade Josy Barthel in Luxembourg.

New Valletta coach Darren Abdilla could not count on Jonathan Caruana who had not recovered fully from an injury, apart from Ryan Camilleri and Bojan Kaljevic. Abdilla therefore handed Jean Borg a place in the starting line-up along with new signings Kevin Tulimieri and Douglas Packer.

The hosts managed to take the lead on the 26th minute thanks to Adel Bettaieb and two minutes in added time, Dominik Stolz doubled the score.

With a direct freekick on the 64th minute, Douglas Packer managed to place the ball in the top left corner to pull one back for Valletta.

Six minutes later, Valletta levelled matters when off a Douglas Packer corner from the left, Jean Borg beat goalkeeper Tim Kips.

Rowen Muscat picked a second yellow card one minute from time and was therefore sent off.

The two teams will be meeting each other once again on Tuesday 16 at the Centenary Stadium, kick-off at 20:00.

The winners would face Ferencváros or Ludogorets in the second qualifying round while the losers would face the losers of Nõmme Kalju/Shkëndija in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.

DUDELANGE Tim Kips, Chris Stumpf, Tom Schnell, Mario Poker, Dominik Stolz, Bertino Cabral Barbosa, Ricardo Delgado, Mickael Garos (76′ Charles Morren), Adel Bettaieb (84′ Laurent Pomponi), Mohamed Bouchouari, Sabir Bougrine (65′ Danel Sinani).

VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Steve Borg, Santiago Malano (52′ Nicholas Pulis), Kyrian Nwoko, Jean Borg, Enmy Pena Beltre, Joseph Zerafa, Douglas Packer (83′ Antonio Monticelli), Rowen Muscat, Mario Fontanella, Kevin Tulimieri (62′ Shaun Dimech).

Referee: Arnold Hunter (NIR)
Assistant Referees: Gareth Eakin, David Anderson (NIR)
Fourth Official: Lee Philip Tavinder (NIR)