A 95th-minute Ivan Krstanović penalty – GNK Dinamo Zagreb's first goal in Group A – earned the Croatian side a deserved 1-1 draw at home to FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Andriy Yarmolenko's volley at the end of a first half briefly delayed by heavy snow looked like being decisive, but Krstanović kept his nerve from the spot to save Dinamo from equalling RCS Anderlecht's unwanted record of 12 straight group stage defeats. If the equaliser marked a positive end to Krunoslav Jurčić's first UEFA Champions League game, in what is his third spell in charge of the club, opponents Dynamo could look forward to UEFA Europa League football in the spring.
Playing their final competitive fixture until that competition resumes in over two months' time, Dynamo might have been forgiven for thinking ahead to imminent holidays in the sun. However, Lukman Haruna stabbed a shot wide as the Ukrainian team showed the determination promised by assistant coach Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko, overseeing matters due to Oleh Blokhin's absence on medical grounds.
In the 17th minute Duje Čop went agonisingly close to breaking Dinamo's goal duck in the section as he struck the crossbar with a left-foot shot after Dynamo had failed to clear a corner. The lively Fatos Beqiraj then had a couple of efforts as Dinamo applied Jurčić's instructions to press high up the pitch.
Jurčić had returned to the helm a little over a week ago and he would have been delighted by the way his charges dominated possession and territory, before they suffered a cruel blow on the cusp of half-time. Ukrainian international midfielder Yarmolenko, hitherto kept largely quiet, showed his class by turning on to the ball before guiding an expert volley over Ivan Kelava and in off the crossbar for his first goal of the group stage.
Sleet greeted the players after the interval and when Beqiraj fired wide around the hour-mark with only goalkeeper Maxym Koval to beat, it appeared that, once again, it was not to be Dinamo's night. However, the late penalty drama completely altered the mood at the Stadion Maksimir.