Nine-man Dynamo Kiev were unable to build on a flying start against Maccabi Tel-Aviv as they joined the already-eliminated Israeli side in bidding farewell to the Europa League following a highly eventful 3-3 draw in the Ukraine.
Needing a win over Maccabi and for Besiktas to lose at home to leaders Stoke in the other Group E match in order to claim second place, Dynamo charged into a 2-0 after just 17 minutes and were looking good at half-time with Besiktas also trailing 1-0.
However, it all went wrong for the Ukrainian side during a 17-minute spell immediately after the interval.
During that period, Dynamo had both Leandro Almeida and Yevhen Khacheridi sent off and saw Maccabi level the scores up at 2-2, while in Turkey, Besiktas equalised against a Stoke side that had been reduced to 10 men.
Dynamo then found themselves trailing 3-2 when Munas Dabbur put winless Maccabi ahead, but Gusev netted his second of the match with 10 minutes to complete the scoring and salvage a 3-3 draw for his side.
Needing to make up three points and overturn a goal difference deficit of four on Besiktas to continue in the tournament, Dynamo knew they were up against it but they made a barnstorming start.
The home side had already tested Maccabi goalkeeper Guy Haimov three times before they took an 11th-minute lead through Leandro Almeida, who turned in Oleksandr Aliev's inswinging free-kick from the left.
Six minutes later, Dynamo were celebrating a second goal thanks to Gusev.
Aliev put overlapping full-back Ebert Betao in behind the Maccabi defence down the left and his low cross into the middle was slotted in off the underside of the crossbar by Gusev.
At the interval, Dynamo's apparently slim hopes of making the last 32 were looking decidedly brighter, but it did not take long for those chances to be shattered after the restart.
Dynamo's demise started almost immediately when Almeida was shown a straight red card in the 47th minute for his foul on Moshe Lugasi on the edge of the box.
Then, from the resulting free-kick, Omer Vered found the top corner of the net after Gal Alberman's initial effort had struck the wall.
Not long after that the hosts were reduced to nine men when Khacheridi was handed his marching orders for violent conduct, and just six minutes later Maccabi were level when Eliran Atar drilled home a 25-yard strike.
With Besiktas on their way to a 3-1 win over Stoke, the writing was on the wall for Dynamo and they found themselves trailing with 15 minutes remaining when Maccabi substitute Dabbur slotted home.
Dynamo looked to be ending their European campaign on a low, but they at least managed to avoid defeat when Gusev turned in Artem Milevskiy's cross, and a topsy-turvy match might even have finished in victory for the home side with Aliev's 86th-minute free-kick striking the bar.