A 90th-minute equaliser denied Heracles Almelo a win in their first ever European tie. They drew the first leg of their Europa League qualifier with Arouca 1-1.

her aroucHeracles dominated possession from the start in their first European tie but couldn’t find a deserved goal in the first half. Jaroslav Navratil blasted a strike into the side netting after bursting into the box while Bel Hassani and Pelupessy also went close.

The Arouca goalkeeper denied Paul Gladon early in the second half, but the striker eventually opened the scoring on 53 minutes, tapping in from close range after being found by Navratil.

After the goal Heracles remained comfortably in control and should have made it 2-0 on the hour mark but Kuwas was denied by an excellent save. Arouca barely troubled Heracles but they equalised in injury time with Gege’s cross from wide nestling into the bottom corner to stun the home crowd.

Coach John Stegeman will be delighted with his teams dominance but the lack of killer instinct and the late sucker-punch from Arouca means Heracles have a difficult task ahead of them when they travel to Portugal for the second leg next week.

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