ROSTOV, Russia — Two goals from Dmitry Poloz gave Rostov its first-ever Champions League point on Wednesday in a 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven.
Unlucky to concede two goals following deflections in the first half, fortune was firmly on the Russian side in the second as the crossbar and some excellent goalkeeping from Soslan Dzhanaev stopped PSV from claiming the win.
Both teams are now off the mark in Group D with a point apiece following opening-day defeats.
Just being in the Champions League is something of a fairytale for the team from southern Russia. Rostov’s surprise challenge for the Russian title last season saw it compared to Leicester, and the side stunned Ajax 5-2 on aggregate in qualifying.
Home fans hoped Rostov could repeat that feat against another famous Dutch team when Poloz gave the hosts the lead in the eighth minute, lifting the ball over goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet off a through pass from Alexander Erokhin.
That lead lasted just six minutes, however, as PSV struck back when Davy Propper’s shot took a heavy deflection and flew past Dzhanaev.
Poloz responded in the 37th with a half-volley from outside the penalty area, but again PSV responded as Santiago Arias’ effort deflected onto the bar and landed perfectly for Luuk de Jong to head in from point-blank range.
PSV dominated the second half and could have scored when Cesar Navas brought down De Jong, leading to a penalty, but Dzhanaev leapt to his left to block the shot. Propper was again unlucky in the 72nd when he hit the bar.
Dzhanaev, who is contending for a place in the Russian national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup, was key again late on to stop a shot by 18-year-old substitute Steven Bergwijn.