Anderlecht left it late, but goals from Deiudonne Mbokani and Oleksandr Yakovenko in the final ten minutes were all they needed to get past AEL and reclaim their place in the group stages.
Anderlecht's intent was exactly what you'd expect from a team down 2-1 in an aggregate tie...get the first goal. AEL's intent was more of a "thrown the kitchen sink at them" approach in a desperate attempt to hold on to their advantage. Really all the Belgian side needed was a 1-0 win and they would be through to the group stages but AEL was bound and determined to prevent that from happening.
Call if the irresitable force versus the immovable object and something was bound to give, or at least we hoped so.
Despite the intent from Anderlecht most of the first half was spent trying to break down the AEL defense and failing to do so. Add to it a lot of frustration and consternation concerning AEL's diving and time wasting and you get the idea. Just how bad was it? AEL keeper Matias Degra was shown a yellow card for time wasting right before the half ended. The most dramatic moment of the half came from Anderlecht's goalkeeper Silvio Proto kept them in the tie with a tremendous point blank save on Rui Miguel about ten minutes before the break.
More frustrating play in the second half as Anderlecht became more and more desperate. It look like they'd finally get their goal in the 66th after Deiudonne Mbokani headed down a cross right to the feet Guillaume Gillet who put way too much power on his shot and slammed the ball off the crossbar from roughly five feet out. Moments later Anderlecht again failed to score after wild scramble that saw Matias Degra make four consecutive saves and ended with Lucas Biglia being yellow carded for diving, trying to earn a penalty.
With ten minutes left, Anderlecht finally got their goal. Massimo Bruno delivered a cross that somehow got past two AEL defenders and landed perfectly on Mbokani's foot. The striker wasted no time, blasting a shot past Degra to give Anderlecht a 1-0 lead and more importantly, a 2-2 draw in the aggregate. Oleksandr Yakovenko sealed it right before the the 90 minute mark, setting off this moment of joy between Anderlecht's head coach John van den Brom and an assistant.
Anderlecht, who had to deal with this playoff round after Chelsea bumped them out of their group stage spot, are back in.