Luciano Becchio struck a superb stoppage-time volley to preserve Leeds' unbeaten run and maintain their promotion challenge in the npower Championship as Middlesbrough were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Elland Road..

The Argentinian striker kept his composure after the ball had rebounded to him off Boro goalkeeper Jason Steele in the 91st minute to smash the ball home from 15 yards and extend Leeds' unbeaten run to 12 matches.

It was rough justice on the visitors, who looked to be heading for back-to-back victories after David Wheater's towering header had given them a first-half lead they rarely looked like surrendering.

Leeds announced the permanent signing of on-loan centre-half Andy O'Brien from Bolton before kick-off, but appeared to run out of steam against Tony Mowbray's well-organised outfit.

Leeds winger Robert Snodgrass volleyed over the bar from 20 yards in the ninth minute following Becchio's knockdown, the only effort on goal in the opening 15 minutes.

But after Leroy Lita's angled drive was deflected for a corner in the 20th minute, Julio Arca curled the ball over and Wheater rose above the home defence at the near post to head beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

Leeds gave the ball away regularly and were almost punished again in the 35th minute when Arca was left free to run on and fire a low shot from outside the area just wide of Schmeichel's left-hand post.

Ross McCormack flashed a curling free-kick just wide and Lloyd Sam dragged a shot the wrong side of the post soon after as Leeds stepped up their bid to get back in the game.

But Boro threatened again when left-back Joe Bennett displayed dazzling skill to weave his way into the box before lifting a shot over the bar.

But with the clock ticking down Neil Kilkenny played a hopeful ball into the area and after McCormack's header the ball rebounded to Becchio, who lashed the ball home on the volley to rescue an unlikely point for the home side.

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Topics:
#Neil Kilkenny
#Joe Bennett
#Jason Steele
#Lloyd Sam
#Football
#Ross McCormack
#Championship
#Bolton Wanderers
#Julio Arca
#Kasper Schmeichel
#David Wheater
#Robert Snodgrass
#Middlesbrough
#Leroy Lita
#Leeds United
#Luciano Becchio