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ROME, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel secured a crucial point at home for his team in the closing moments of their Champions League Group E match against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday when he headed in the equaliser, giving them a 1-1 draw.

Five minutes into stoppage time, the goalkeeper, after venturing up the pitch for a last-ditch corner, headed home a cross from Luis Alberto with one of the final touches of the game.

The outcome of the first-ever Champions League clash between Lazio and Atletico resulted in Feyenoord taking the top position in the group, thanks to their 2-0

victory

over Celtic in a simultaneous match on Tuesday.

Provedel became the first goalkeeper to score in a Champions League match since Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama achieved the feat for Hapoel Tel Aviv 13 years ago, and only the fourth overall.

“It’s a night I’ll remember all my life,” Provedel told UEFA.com. “I’m happy especially because we managed to level a game we didn’t deserve to lose. It hasn’t sunk in; later, I will realise that I scored in the Champions League.

“Football is sometimes about moments and not performance. I am sorry that we had to equalise at the last second. I hope the point gives us momentum as motivation and enthusiasm.”

Midfielder Pablo Barrios had broken the deadlock for Atletico in the 29th minute with a first-time strike from long range that deflected off defender Daichi Kamada, completely wrong-footing Provedel.

Lazio controlled the first part of the match, during which Mattia Zaccagni challenged Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak with a powerful free kick over the wall. However, the Slovenian deflected it to a corner.

Atletico came close to doubling their lead after the break, with Alvaro Morata striking the post, while Provedel made several close saves to keep Lazio in the match.

Ciro Immobile attempted to get an equaliser for the Roman side in the early minutes of the second half but missed a golden opportunity when he found himself clear on goal and poked the ball directly at Oblak.

In stoppage time, Oblak came to the rescue for Atletico when he tipped Danilo Cataldi’s long-range rocket around the base of the post.

Atletico manager Diego Simeone was upbeat about the draw.

“We played a good second half, we had clear goal-scoring chances. We defended organised and with a lot of effort. I am left with a good feeling despite the goal in the last minute.”

The 53-year-old Argentine, who played for Lazio when they last won the Italian championship in 2000, made an emotionally charged return to the Olimpico, where banners greeted him with the message, “Lazio and Rome will always be your home. Welcome back!”

“The fans are incredible, I felt so much emotion at the start of the game but also just walking into the stadium,” Simeone said. “I have this affection that will never die. The banner was beautiful, it touched my heart.”

Lazio travel to Glasgow to face Celtic on Oct. 4 for the next round, while Atletico will host Feyenoord on the same day. (Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon)

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