Despite a whirlwind start in Turin, Aberdeen lost this first leg tie to a late winner from Carlos Agulera. The Dons had earlier raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Mixu Paatelainen and Eoin Jess. The Czech whistler, Vaclav Krondl managed to conjure up four minutes of injury time in the first half allowing the Italians to pull a goal back before the interval. The Dons were on the back foot for most of the second half and just fell short of completing their own Italian job as Torino netted twice.
Torino looked nervous in the opening exchanges and the Dons took full advantage, imposing themselves on the game. It was a sensational start from Aberdeen, which rocked the millionaires of Torino to the core, silencing the noisy crowd in the process. It was Mixu Paatelainen who struck fear into Torino and they just could not handle the big Finnish international. After nine minutes Stewart McKimmie was brought down by Sergio and from Paul Kane's free kick Paatelainen rose majestically to power a header past Galli. Torino hit back when Silenzi came close but it was Aberdeen who stunned the Italians again after 24 minutes.
After some good build up play Paatelainen shrugged off a challenge from Gregucci and his cross was drilled home by Eoin Jess. At that stage it was no more than the Scots deserved but there was a sting in the Italian tail, aided by a hapless referee. With no injuries in the first half the Czech ref added four extra minutes for no apparent reason. That proved crucial as Torino got back in to the game when a McKimmie slip allowed Sergio to score.
That strike fired up the home side and in what was a real backs-to-the-wall second half for the Dons, Torino edged ahead with two second half goals. Danile Fortunato scored to level the tie before a sickening last minute winner for the Italians dealt a harsh blow to a brave Aberdeen side. The winner came from Uruguayan international Carlos Agulera's free kick right at the end deceiving Theo Snelders.
Despite the narrow defeat it was all to play for in the Pittodrie return. Manager Willie Miller was proud of his side: "Having done so well in the first half it was disappointing to lose the game. They had the pressure in the second half and they are a good side. However we look forward to taking them on at Pittodrie-it should be some night."