Bayer 04 Leverkusen surrendered their lead of Champions League Group E, but qualified for the knockout phase of the competition after snatching a late equalizer to draw 1-1 draw with KRC Genk on Tuesday.
Genk had appeared to be on course for their first victory in the contest after Jelle Vossen scored with a smart volley on the half-hour mark from a low Dugary Ndabashinze cross.
However, Sidney Sam, Leverkusen’s most dangerous player, found an unmarked Eren Derdiyok 11 minutes from time and the German side’s top scorer fired in low to equalize.
Both sides had chances to win in the exciting final few minutes of a match that had begun slowly with little at stake beyond pride for the home side and a potentially more favorable last-16 draw for the visitors.
Leverkusen were already assured of their passage beyond the group phase before the match, while Genk knew that they would end bottom of the group after letting in 14 goals in three away games.
Leverkusen preserved their record of never having lost to a Belgian side.
Genk, who had lost their last three matches, including a 7-0 drubbing in Valencia, salvaged pride by ending undefeated at home with three draws.
Leverkusen finished second behind English Premier League side Chelsea, who beat Valencia 3-0 in Group E’s other match.