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8 Mar, 2009 16:33

Army men grab first trophy of the season

Army men grab first trophy of the season

Goals, a sending off, yellow cards in abundance, extra time – the Russian Supercup the football season’s curtain-raiser between league champions Rubin and Russian cup holders CSKA had it all.

Despite starting as favourties against Rubin, CSKA needed to make history if they wanted to win the Russian Super Cup.

In a match that pits the Premier League winnera against the Russian Cup winners, it was the league champions who'd come out on top in all previous matches.

However, CSKA were intent on changing that statistic and started well.

Alan Dzagoev had the first real opening of the game midway through the first half, but he put his shot well wide.

Just minutes later, Sergey Rizhikov had to be at his very best to keep out an effort from Yury Zhirkov, who was causing the Kazan side all sorts of problems down the left flank.

CSKA pressure finally took its toll two minutes before half time.

The ball dropped to Davidas Shemberas, and the Lithuanian international hit the net from over 20 metres out.

Rubin hardly mustered a shot on goal during the first half. But against the run of play they pulled level on the hour mark as Roman Shironov deflected the ball past Igor Akinfeev.

CSKA had plenty of chances to retake the lead, but the match went into extra time.

Rubin were playing their first competitive match of the season, and were beginning to tire, and the task wasn't made any easier, as Karadinez was sent off for a second bookable offence – a theatrical dive in the penalty area.

Rubin’s resistance was finally broken three minutes before the end of extra time. Tomas Necid, who'd missed a couple of great chances earlier, finally found the back of the net on his debut to give the legendary Zico his first trophy as CSKA head coach.