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5 Nov, 2008 18:40

Zenit win restores Champions League hopes

Zenit win restores Champions League hopes

Russian football champions Zenit St Petersburg have kept alive hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League playoffs. A 2-0 away win at BATE Borisov leave them just two points away from second placed Real Madrid – with two games left to pl

But it was not easy. BATE looked better in the first half, creating several good chances from free-kicks and corners. But Zenit’s keeper Malafeev was confident in goals.

His teammates relied on sharp counter attacks, one of which, on 34 minutes, saw Pavel Pogrebnyak receiving an incisive pass from Konstantin Zyrianov and easily putting the ball in the net.     

The St Petersburg side started the second half with confidence and were in full control of the game until the 74th minute. Both teams received just two yellow cards in this game and both of Zenit’s were given to defender Sebastian Puigrenier, who was sent off.

After that, BATE put all the effort into attack, but the Belarusian side failed to get an equalizer.  Instead, Danny doubled the score for the Russians after a great run in stoppage time to make it a 2-0 final score.   

Zenit’s group opponents, Real Madrid and Juventus, were involved in another close match on the night. And it was the Italians who produced a second win over their great rivals. Two goals from Del Piero gave Juve a 2-0 win in the Spanish capital. 

Juve top Group H with 10 points, Real have 6, Zenit are on 4, and BATE have 3.