PARIS: Guillaume Hoarau’s second-half penalty claimed a 2-2 draw to deny former winners Red Star Belgrade a comeback victory over Young Boys in the Champions League’s play-off round first leg on Wednesday.
Roger Assale scored early on for the hosts before Milos Degenek and Mateo Garcia put the 1991 European champions 2-1 up shortly after the break.
Hoarau’s spot-kick came after VAR reviewed a foul on Nicolas Ngamaleu with a quarter of an hour remaining in Switzerland.
The visitors were quickly trailing after a route-one goal from the hosts after seven minutes.
David van Ballmoos hoofed his goal-kick up field, striker Jean-Pierre Nsame flicked the ball on and forward Assale’s effort slipped under Canada international Milan Borjan for the opening goal.
Australia centre-back Degenek brought the teams level 11 minutes later.
His looped header from a Marko Marin cross beat Van Ballmoos as well as Nsame who was defending at the near post.
The Serbians were ahead after 54 seconds of the second half.
Captain Marin fed right-back Marko Gobeljic out wide who crossed into the box.
Two Red Star players over-ran the pass before Garcia struck home at the back-post.
France international Hoarau, a 73rd minute substitute, slotted home his penalty with ease after referee Danny Makkelie had reviewed forward Richmond Boakye’s trip on Ngamaleu in the box.
Hoarau could have claimed the win for Young Boys with five minutes of normal time remaining but his shot was cleared off the line.
Red Star, despite the draw, have the upper hand ahead of next week’s return leg thanks to their away goals.
Elsewhere, Olympiakos romped to a 4-0 victory over Krasnodar although their fans could be in trouble after a Russian journalist claimed he was attacked and had his nose broken in an assault.
The visitors, who knocked out Porto in the last round, struggled in Greece as Lazar Randelovic scored twice between efforts by Miguel Angel Guerrero and Daniel Podence.
Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb beat Norwegian league winners Rosenborg 2-0 thanks to first-half efforts from Bruno Petkovic and Mislav Orsic.