Zenit overturn three-goal deficit in Israel

15 Sep

Zenit produced one of the most extraordinary comebacks in the history of European club football to turn a 3-0 UEFA Europa League Group D deficit at Maccabi Tel-Aviv into a 4-3 win.

In Mircea Lucescu’s first continental game in charge of the Russian side, Zenit went behind when Haris Medunjanin’s cross deceived goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin in the first half, and following Vidar Orn Kjartansson’s headed second, the Bosnian made it 3-0 from a direct free-kick on 70 minutes.

Aleksandr Kokorin’s scrambled finish on 77 minutes gave Zenit some hope, before the 81st-minute dismissal of Eli Dasa presented Zenit with an indirect free-kick inside the Maccabi box as well as a man advantage. Giuliano flipped the ball up for substitute Maurício to smash into the net and he was then the beneficiary of a Róbert Mak ball to equalise at 3-3 on 86 minutes.

The best was saved for last, however. When Giuliano swung a delivery into the area two minutes into added time, replacement Luka Djordjević met it with a diving header to beat home goalkeeper Predrag Rajković for a fourth time.

“I’ve never been involved in such a game in my career and my career is very long!” said Zenit coach Mircea Lucescu.

Luka Djordjević (Zenit)©AFP/Getty Images


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