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  Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Two below par performances saw CSKA Moscow scrape
Two below par performances saw CSKA Moscow scrape a 1-0 home win against Shaktar Donetsk and Zenit St. Petersburg beaten 2-0 by Udinese in Italy in UEFA Cup first leg, last 16 ties on Thursday evening.

UEFA Cup holders Zenit were hit by two late goals from Udinese, first Fabio Quagliarella firing home from close range in the 85th minute, and Antonio Di Natale slotting in the second from the spot in injury time after a foul by Roman Shirokov had earned the player a red card and the Italians a penalty.

Zenit came close to opening the score in the second half, captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk hitting the bar, and Turkish forward Fatih Tekke putting wide when it seemed easy to score. Vyacheslav Malafeev in the Zenit goal was not idle however, saving the Russian club on a number of occasions before Udinese eventually found the back of the net.

Earlier in the evening, 2005 UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moscow hosted Soviet rivals Shakhtar Donestk in the Russian capital in front of some 30,000 fans at the Luzhniki stadium. The Ukrainians enjoyed a clear advantage in the first half, with four shots on the Muscovites' goal before CSKA even managed to launch a single attack, but were unable to deliver the final touch. Shakhtar's Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano went closest for the guests in the 30th minute, his shot just wide of Igor Akinfeev's right post.

However, it was CSKA's own Brazilian, Vagner Love, who finally broke the deadlock, striking from the penalty spot after Milos Krasic had been brought down. The goal was Love's 11th in this season's UEFA Cup, and brings him within four goals of German striker Jurgen Klinsmann's record of 15 goals in the tournament, set in the 1995/96 season.

Shakhtar pressed hard for an equalizer, Akinfeev saving the former Red Army club twice, and Love and his strike partner Alan Dzagoyev continued to threaten, but there was no more work for the scoreboard operators.

The second legs of both ties take place next Thursday.


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