Newcastle Strikes Back to Snatch Dynamic Draw 2-2

KIEV -- A pair of scrappy goals from John Beresford in the last 12 minutes earned Newcastle a fortunate 2-2 draw with Dynamo Kiev in the European Champions League after Faustino Asprilla was carried off midway through the first half.


The home side looked to be coasting Wednesday to a well-orchestrated victory and unchallenged leadership of Group C on the back of two clinical first half goals from Ukrainian international strike pair Serhiy Rebrov and Andriy Shevchenko.


Without Asprilla, who left the field injured in the first half, Newcastle lacked punch and direction up front. Yet Beresford pulled a goal back in the 78th minute as his shot squirmed between goalkeeper Olexander Shovkovsky's legs.


With five minutes remaining, Beresford hit a hopeful shot from outside the area and saw a vicious deflection off Olexander Golovko take the otherwise innocuous strike sailing past the despairing Shovkovsky.


A frantic final few minutes saw Newcastle keeper Shay Given cap an already fine performance as he kept the late-charging Ukrainians at bay.


A 100,000 crowd had the perfect start when the unmarked Rebrov scored after four minutes.


Things got worse for Newcastle in the 22nd minute as Asprilla collapsed in pain after taking a free kick and was carried off. He suffered a groin injury and will require a month's rest and possibly surgery.


Six minutes later, with substitute Jon Dahl Tomasson still waiting on the touchline, a perfectly timed through ball from Belarussian international Valentin Belkevich split the Newcastle defense and Shevchenko coolly slotted home.


Newcastle had Given to thank for several good saves, and when he was caught out Darren Peacock was on hand to head off the line.


But Beresford's late double enabled Newcastle to travel home happy.


Dynamo's veteran Soviet coach Valery Lobanovsky was clearly disappointed.


"We played well. A draw was lucky for Newcastle," he said.