Rostov were held to a 2-2 draw by Anderlecht as the Russian Premier League side made an entertaining first foray into the Champions League.
Kurban Berdyev's men were very much the surprise package of Russia's top flight last season, making CSKA Moscow wait until the final day to claim the title at their expense.
They were twice forced to come from behind at Olimp-2 Stadium on Tuesday, with Sofiane Hanni steering home a cleverly dummied corner from Steven Defour in the third minute.
Youri Tielemans curled home a wonderful second from 20 yards seven minutes into the second half, to leave Anderlecht and their new boss Rene Weiler with s valuable away goals bounty ahead of next week's return.
But 19-year-old Iranian Saeid Ezatolahi had already smuggled a close-range equaliser for the hosts by that stage and Dmitry Poloz's penalty with an hour gone means Rostov have plenty to play for at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in next week's second leg.
The victor will progress to the play-off round for a place in the Champions League group stages.