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28 Nov, 2008 01:48

UEFA Cup: Moscow clubs get vital wins

In the UEFA Cup CSKA Moscow became one of the first four clubs to progress to the knockout stages of the competition thanks to a 2-1 win over Polish side Lech Poznan. Meanwhile, city rivals Spartak greatly improved their chances of following the army men

Alan Dzagoev ran to a mano-a-mano rendezvous with the Polish goalkeeper following Vagner Love’s through pass to give CSKA the lead in the first half.

Just before the halftime whistle Yury Zhirkov proved to be the most tenacious in the Lech box when he converted an Anton Grigoryev long ball from the left, putting the Muscovites two up at half-time break and looking good for a comfortable win.

However, a goal from Semir Stilic for the Poles ensured a nervy end to the game, but CSKA hung on for a win that now guarantees them a place in the next round from group H.

There was also a much needed victory for Spartak Moscow.

Playing in Zagreb against local side Dynamo, the Red-Whites failed to make an impact in the first half. But substitute Artur Maloyan kept the ball on the edge of the box for Ivan Saenko who ran-up from the left and sent the ball straight into right-bottom corner, fooling goalkeeper Tomislav Butina.

Spartak’s own Croatian keeper, Stipe Pletikosa, meanwhile, managed to keep a clean sheet earning them their first points of the campaign – and giving a fighting chance of qualifying from Group D.