Neftçi PFK were denied their first victory in a UEFA group stage game after a 1-1 draw against FK Partizan.
Both sides were unable to qualify for the knockout stages after claiming a single point – in the reverse fixture – from their opening four Group H matches, but the hosts seemed on course for a landmark success thanks to an outstanding strike from Flavinho after ten minutes. Substitute Aleksandar Mitrović levelled midway through the second half before he was sent off late on.
Boyukagha Hajiyev's charges were purposeful in the early stages and were rewarded with only their second goal in the section. Brazilian midfielder Flavinho picked up the ball 30 metres out and skipped inside Milan Smiljanić before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner. That advantage was nearly doubled when Cavid Imamverdiyev exchanged passes with Flavinho, only for his low effort to be parried by advancing Partizan No1 Nikola Petrović.
The Serbian side imposed more authority on proceedings after the break, with the talented Saša Ilić firing just over. The midfielder's next contribution was more meaningful as he slid in half-time replacement Mitrović, who finished confidently. Vladimir Vermezović's side looked capable of completing the turnaround until their goalscorer was dismissed 13 minutes from time, but the hosts could not take advantage.
© 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.