CAMERON Jerome made a dream debut for Stoke City by firing home the 55th minute goal to help his side to launch their Europa League Group Stage campaign with an excellent result.
The £2.75 million deadline day signing from Birmingham City produced a cool finish from Ryan Shotton's cross to give City the lead in the Lobanovsky Stadium, only for them to be pegged back right at the death through an equaliser from Ognjen Vukojevic after a battling performance against Dynamo Kiev.
Although it was cruel luck on Tony Pulis' side, a point from their opening fixture was still an excellent result and stretched their unbeaten start to the new season to nine matches.
With a number of key players left at home, City's line-up showed eight changes from the team that overcame Liverpool at the weekend.
New signings Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios were handed their full debuts for the Potters, while there were call-ups for Salif Diao and Ryan Shotton within the reshuffle and recalls for Glenn Whelan and Kenwyne Jones.
The changes did give Pulis options on the bench where Pennant, Walters and Whitehead were among the five substitutes.
City lined up with Shotton at right back and Wilkinson on the left hand side of a five man defence, while the inclusion of Diao with his experience of playing for Liverpool gave the Potters a solid look in the middle of the park.
Although reports suggested that the game was a sell-out, it kicked off with many empty seats but there was still a good atmosphere and there was encouragement for the home fans when Sorensen came out to claim a dangerous cross.
After looking comfortable in the opening five minutes, City were then given a reminder of the threat posed by Shevchenko.
Although Shotton did well to cut out a raking pass from Garmash aimed at the former Chelsea man, Kiev were eventually awarded a corner from which the striker played a neat one-two with Popov before curling his shot inches wide.
City's intentions were quite clear as they tried to take the sting out of Kiev's early pressure and it took a vital interception from Upson when Popov found space on the left to fire over a low cross to the edge of the six yard box.
Kiev should have broken the deadlock in the 20th minute when Sorensen could only push out a fiercely struck shot from Popov but Iarmolenko failed to hit the target with his follow-up from a tight angle at the far post.
The Potters hit back and forced a couple of corners themselves, the second of which fell to Shotton on the edge of the box and he hit a left foot shot through a crowded area which flashed wide of the 'keeper's right hand post.
Kiev's players were prepared to seize upon every opportunity to shoot from long range and Milevskyi was the next to test out Sorensen with a drive that swerved in front of him but the big Dane dealt with it comfortably.
Sorensen then made a vital save in the 35th minute to keep out a close range shot from Milevskyi after he latched onto a cross whipped over from Da Silva on the overlap and the 'keeper had to react smartly to smother the rebound.
One major concern for the Potters was that they picked up a number of bookings in the first period, one of which was a yellow card for Shawcross that gave Kiev a free kick in a dangerous position but Shevchenko scuffed his effort into the wall.
That was the final action of the half although Upson and Huth took the tally of bookings to five with fouls, while Garmash also received a yellow card.
The second half began on a promising note with Jerome bursting down the left and when he tried to pick out Jones in the box, Da Silva closed him down sufficiently to put the ball behind for a corner which unfortunately came to nothing.
The first threat of the half for Kiev stemmed from Da Silva playing the ball into Milevskyi who unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that flashed wide with Sorensen scurrying across his line to make sure it was covered.
Moments later and City went in front when Jerome marked his debut with a goal that was calmly taken after good work by Shotton.
Jones had worked the ball out to the young defender who used his pace to burst down the right before dragging the ball back to Jerome who had made his run to the far post where he lifted his shot into the roof of the net.
There was a let-off for City on the hour mark when Popov turned over a cross which found Shevchenko unmarked but his header was a tame and Sorensen was not troubled in moving to his left to make the save.
As the game reached its midway point in the second half, Palacios and Jerome earned City some brief respite by linking up in a move down the right hand side, but when it broke down there was a swift counter attack from Kiev.
The ball was slipped through to Shevchenko who got beyond his marker but instinctively lifted his shot over the bar from the edge of the box as Sorensen advanced off his line to try and close the Kiev striker down.
The home side once again resorted to shooting from long distance but Sorensen's handling was excellent to keep out substitute Aliiev's ambitious effort from fully 30 yards out, the 'keeper gathering it at his left hand post.
City made their first change of the night when Pennant came on for goalscorer Jerome as the tie moved into the final 15 minutes.
But it was the home side who were desperately unlucky not to get back on level terms when Aliiev tried his luck again, unleashing a 20-yard thunderbolt that beat Sorensen but cannoned against the bar much to the Potters' relief.
There were chances at either end as Jones did well to break clear of two Kiev defenders but didn't have the legs to make the opportunity really count while at the other end Shevchenko escaped the attention of Shotton and slid a ball across the face of goal but Ideye was unable to apply the finishing touch.
Shotton then made way for Whitehead who slotted in at right back, while Pennant was operating up just behind Jones in City's attack as the game reached the final five minutes.
City had the chance to catch Kiev on the break as Pennant swung the ball out to Jones on the left who took it on the chest in his stride and fired a shot that was saved by the 'keeper at his near post.
Just when it appeared that the Potters would hold out as the game went into three minutes of injury time, Kiev's pressure paid off with an equaliser from Vukojevic who forced the ball home at the far post after Popov had volleyed the ball across the six yard box from the left hand side.