Champions League: Lazio stuns Atlético Madrid with rare goaltender equalizer from Ivan Provedel

Ivan Provedel was celebrated as a hero after his late equalizer Tuesday. (Ivan Romano/Getty Images)
Ivan Provedel was celebrated as a hero after his late equalizer Tuesday. (Ivan Romano/Getty Images)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

For Lazio, desperate measures paid off Tuesday in Matchday 1 of Champions League group play.

Facing a 1-0 deficit with the clock ticking in the final moments of extra time against Atlético Madrid, Lazio sent goalkeeper Ivan Provedel forward for a corner kick in a last-ditch effort to equalize. Midfielder Danilo Cataldi sent the kick toward the goal, where Atlético defenders sent it back to Cataldi.

Cataldi then passed the ball toward the top left corner of the box to Luis Alberto, who sent the ball back toward the goal. There, Provedel knifed through the Atlético defense for a perfectly placed header that sailed past diving goaltender Jan Oblak into the back of the net.

The goal that crossed the line 4:19 into four scheduled minutes of extra time was the final touch of the game. It secured a 1-1 tie and a critical point for Lazio. Tuesday's game was the opener for both teams in Group E, which includes the Netherlands' Feyenoord and Scotland's Celtic FC.

Feyenoord took control of the group with a 2-0 win over Celtic FC on Tuesday, earning three points. Atlético Madrid and Lazio are now tied for second place with one point apiece, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout Round of 16.

Lazio's tactic to put Provedel in on offense was an uncommon one, but it made sense given the circumstances. With the timing of the corner kick likely making it the last chance for Lazio, there was little downside to keeping their goal untended. The extra man on offense gave them an advantage that Provedel seized.

In doing so, he became the fourth goaltender in Champions League history to score a goal. And he earned a hero's celebration from his teammates.