Thursday September 20 2012
Udinese hold Anzhi with late Toto goal

Finally some good news for Udinese, as Toto Di Natale salvages them a draw with rich Russians Anzhi.

Francesco Guidolin left star man Di Natale on the bench for this Europa League opener, giving the nod to new Swedish striker Mathias Ranegie up front.

Mehdi Benatia had the first noteworthy chance, heading a Marco Faraoni free kick just over.

Roberto Pereyra seemed to have won a penalty moments later. He was instead booked for diving, but there did appear to be contact.

Anzhi's Oleg Shatov almost beat Daniele Padelli to a through ball but the deputy 'keeper recovered well.

The Russians took the lead against the run of play with a remarkable goal on the verge of half time, Lacina Traore lashing in a powerful left foot shot from a very tight angle that Padelli simply couldn't resist. It was somewhat harshly given as a Padelli own goal.

Ranegie found an opening at the start of the second period, but his angled shot was flapped away by Yvgeny Pomazan.

With half an hour to go Di Natale and Dusan Basta were both summoned from the bench.

However as time ticked away it was the visitors that looked likelier to score next, former Inter man Samuel Eto'o forcing Padelli into a good save after a slick passing move.

Basta made contact with a cross from fellow wingback Pablo Armero, but Pomazan scrambled over to stop it crossing the line.

However the Zebrette did get their equaliser in the 92nd minute, through who else but that man Di Natale!

Toto pounced on a rebound in the box and flashed a left foot finish past Pomazan.

The hosts were warmly applauded from the field.

Udinese 1 Anzhi 1

Scorers: Padelli 44 (A, o.g.), Di Natale 91 (U)

Udinese: Padelli; Danilo, Benatia, Domizzi; Faraoni, Badu (Di Natale 58), Lazzari, Willians (Basta 59), Armero; Pereyra (Pinzi 76); Ranegie

Anzhi: Pomazan; Agalarov, Samba, Joao Carlos, Zhirkov; Jucilei, Boussafa; L Diarra, Eto'o, Shatov; Traore (Carcela-Gonzalez 61)

Ref: Gocek (TUR)