Milan, Sep 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) An injury-time leveller from Yuto Nagatomo denied Rubin Kazan a famous San Siro win against Inter Milan in their Europa League opener.
Nagatomo volleyed home Diego Milito's cross in the 92nd minute to make it 2-2 and share the points with the plucky Russian side Thursday.
Rubin had looked to be in for a shock win just six minutes from time when Jose Rondon, a 13 million euro summer acquisition from Malaga, cushioned a through ball from Roman Eremenko and tucked it into the corner.
The Russians had even taken an unexpected lead in the 17 minute, Alexander Ryazantsev slamming home the rebound when Samir Handanovic had saved Bibras Natkho's weak penalty.
Brazilian midfielder Jonathan had bought down Turkish forward Gokdeniz Karadeniz for the spot kick.
But Inter's 19-year-old Croatian striker Marko Livaja levelled it in the 39th minute in an exquisite move.
When Antonio Cassano split the Rubin defence to find Esteban Cambiasso, the Argentinean jinked past Sergei Ryzhikov to chip into the path of Livaja, who out-jumped three Rubin defenders to score.
Livaja had headed over from a remarkably similar move moments earlier as the hosts had begun to turn the screw.
But it was far from one-way traffic.
Finnish international Eremenko, who had a stand-out game, burst clear down the right and was inches away with a low drive that whistled past Samir Handanovic's right post.
And Ryazantsev, revered for a spectacular strike at the Camp Nou in 2009 that helped his side to an improbable 2-1 Champions League win over Barcelona, hit the outside of the post with a run and shot just before half time.
Right after half-time Kurban Berdyev's side went on the attack, forcing Handanovic into uncomfortable interceptions that prompted the San Siro crowd into jeers.
But Inter broke quickly and Livaja curled just over when released by Cassano.
The introduction of veteran Argentinean striker Diego Milito in the second half couldn't seem to spur Andrea Stramaccioni's side onto greater things, but in the dying seconds he combined with Nagatomo to save Inter's blushes.
In another Italian-Russian clash earlier Thursday, substitute Antonio Di Natale rescued a dramatic 1-1 draw for Udinese in stoppage time to deny Anzhi Makhachkala a debut victory in the competition's group stage.
Rubin next host Partizan Belgrade while Anzhi welcome Young Boys on Oct 4.
Inter next travel to Azerbaijan to face Neftci Baku.