Heineken Cup: Treviso 13-14 Leicester
Treviso (10) 13
- Penalty try
- Di Bernardo
- Di Bernardo (2)
Leicester (7) 14
- Thompstone, penalty try
- Ford (2)
Leicester Tigers moved to the top of Heineken Cup Pool Two with a dramatic win at bottom side Treviso.
The Italian hosts threatened to cause a major upset as they led 13-7 after 76 minutes through a penalty try and eight points from Alberto Di Bernardo's boot.
Leicester had opened the scoring when winger Adam Thompstone finished a superb counter-attack to touch down, with George Ford adding the extras.
Ford's conversion following a late penalty try clinched a last-gasp win.
Two-time European champions Leicester, who had never lost in 17 previous matches against Italian opposition, looked to be heading towards a famous defeat before their late rally.
Treviso were reduced to 14 men after a cynical late tackle by Christian Loamanu earned him a yellow card with 14 minutes remaining.
Leicester used their numerical advantage to pile on the pressure and after they won a series of scrums, referee Alain Rolland lost patience with the home defence and awarded the penalty try.
Ford kept his cool to slot over the conversion and earn his team what could be a priceless victory in their bid to reach the knockout stage.
Ospreys' home win against leaders Toulouse blew the pool wide open and means the Tigers know that qualification now lies in their own hands.
Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill: "We're obviously very relieved because we came away with the win. You have to congratulate Treviso for the way they played. They made us work exceptionally hard.
"Conversely, you have to congratulate our players for sticking in there and digging in right until the end.
"Everything went against us really. We scored a really good try in that first half, but somehow we upset the referee and he was against us for a fair bit.
"You could easily let all those factors get on top of you and throw in the towel. But we didn't, we stuck to our guns, played for the win, and eventually we got it."
Treviso: McLean, Nitoglia, Loamanu, Sgarbi, Iannone, Di Bernardo, Gori, Vosawai, Budd, Zanni, C Van Zyl, Minto, Cittadini, Ghiraldini, Rizzo.
Replacements: K. Burton for McLean (51), Semenzato for Gori (41), Favaro for Vosawai (55), Derbyshire for Budd (55), Rouyet for Rizzo (73).
Not Used: Sbaraglini, Muccignat, Bernabo.
Sin Bin: Rizzo (17), Loamanu (66).
Leicester: Tait, Morris, Tuilagi, Allen, Thompstone, Ford, B Youngs, Waldrom, Salvi, B Deacon, Parling, L Deacon, Cole, T Youngs, Ayerza.
Replacements: Murphy for Thompstone (46), Crane for Waldrom (23), Castrogiovanni for Cole (59), Mulipola for Ayerza (59).
Not Used: Chuter, Kitchener, Harrison, Bowden.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).