TIANSHANNET   ›   Photo Gallery   ›   Sports

Union clinch late draw in six-goal thriller in Europa League

BERLIN, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Sven Michel's last-gasp equalizer gifted Union Berlin a 3-3 draw with Union Saint-Gilloise in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League last 16 here on Thursday.

The Eisernen took the reins from the kick-off on home soil as Sheraldo Becker tested Saint-Gilloise goalkeeper Anthony Morris twice in the early stages.

Union controlled possession and should have opened the scoring with 16 minutes gone but Kevin Behrens couldn't beat Morris from close range.

The visitors from Belgium needed some time to gain a foothold, but broke the deadlock with their first attack in the 28th minute, when Victor Boniface's deflected long-range shot left Berlin custodian Frederik Ronnow with no chance.

The hosts were shocked and had to wait until the closing stages of the first half before Josip Juranovic curled a free kick over the wall into the top left corner to level the scores.

Union assumed control after the restart, but Yorbe Vertessen clinically finished off a counterattack, giving Saint-Gilloise a 2-1 lead in the 58th minute.

The hosts restored parity 10 minutes later through Robin Knoche, who scored with a follow-up after his penalty was initially parried by Morris.

It was a short-lived joy for the hosts though, as Vertessen raced through Union's territory before squaring into the path of Boniface, who made it 3-2 with 72 minutes played.

Union threw all men up front and were rewarded in the dying minutes when Michel tapped home the equalizer.

Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen eased past Ferencvaros 2-0 thanks to goals from Kerem Demirbay and Edmond Tapsoba.