Liverpool conceded two goals in less than three minutes to Zenit St Petersburg to leave their Europa League campaign hanging in the balance after a 2-0 defeat Thursday night.
Despite having failed to properly test goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with a number of chances the Reds seemed to be managing to hold on in their last-32 Europa League first-leg tie in the sub-zero Petrovsky Stadium.
But with 20 minutes remaining Hulk powered home a brilliant 30-yard strike before substitute Sergei Semak converted from close-range moments later.
Liverpool - and in particular top scorer Luis Suarez - will have to rediscover their shooting boots for the return leg next week otherwise their last chance of a trophy this season will be lost.
Manager Brendan Rodgers insisted he planned to give this competition due significance once they were into the knockout stage but an unexpected FA Cup exit to Oldham and a failure to pick up the pace in the Premier League made it seem even more important.