Maribor hits back late to snatch 1-1 draw with Sporting CP
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Teenage substitute Luka Zahovic scored an injury-time equalizer as NK Maribor snatched a 1-1 draw against Sporting Lisbon in Group G of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Nani, who is on loan from Manchester United, scored what looked destined to be the winner in the 80th minute — sending a rasping 20-meter shot into the far corner of Jasmin Handanovic's goal.
But 18-year-old Zahovic, who only came off the bench in the 81st minute, nodded home in the second minute of added time to earn the hosts a point.
Maribor had started well, with a powerful shot from Agim Ibraimi being turned away for a corner by Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio in the 10th minute.
However, the Portuguese side gradually began to dominate, with Andre Carrillo nearly breaking the deadlock with two chances in the 28th minute — first with a shot that was parried by Handanovic and then with a lob that struck the crossbar.
Maribor stayed in the game and nearly took the lead in the 42nd minute when Aleksander Rajcevic met a free kick with a header onto the right-hand post.
Sporting took control in the second half, though, and created a series of good chances, with Handanovic saving Islam Slimani's header from seven meters in the 46th minute before Nani found the net.
Sporting could have had a second goal in the 86th minute when Carlos Mane sent in another header — only for Handanovic to again make a crucial save. The keeper's efforts paid dividends at the very end when Zahovic pounced on some poor defending to level.
Chelsea drew 1-1 with Schalke in the group's other game to leave all four teams on one point.