A stoppage-time goal denied Gzira United a win as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw in a clash with Radnicki Nis in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday.
A result which leaves qualification wide open for both sides as the two teams meet at the Stadion Cair in Nis on Thursday 28 with the winner facing Wolfsberger of Austria in the next round.
The visitors managed to take the lead mid-way through the first half but a brace by Maxuell Maia turned the score in favour of the Maroons with Radnicki notching the equaliser two minutes in added time.
Radnicki took the lead on the 26th minute when off a cross by Lazar Jovanovic, Nikola Stulic’s first-time effort gave goalkeeper Darijan Radelic Zarkov no chance.
Gzira levelled matters eleven minutes in the second half when Maxuell Maia made the most of some poor ball control by the Radnicki goalkeeper Marko Drobnjak and placed the ball at the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Marcelo Dias was brought down inside the area by Bojan Mladovic and from the penalty spot, Maxuell Maia converted to make it 2-1 for the Maroons.
However two minutes in added time, Radnicki notched the equaliser courtesy of substitute Maka Gakou who hit home after taking a loose ball.
GZIRA Darijan Zarkov, Zachary Scerri (Clive Gauci 91), Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Luke Tabone, Nikolai Muscat, Ricardo Correa Duarte, Marcelo Dias, Marko Cosic, Maxuell Maia (Toni Kolega 74), Luis Carlos Riascos, Jefferson De Assis.
RADNICKI Marko Drobnjak, Bojan Mladovic (Maka Gakou 65), Anton Tolordava, Milan Savic, Nikola Aksentijevic, Aleksandar Pejovic, Lazar Arsic, Sasa Marjanovic (Aleksandar Mesarovic 65), Nemanja Petrov, Nikola Stulic (Stefan Dimic 74), Lazar Jovanovic (Branislav Tomic 65).
Referee: Ferenc Karaka (HUN)
Assistant Referees: Peter Kobor, Norbert Bornemissza (HUN)
Fourth Official: Peter Zierkelbach (HUN)