PSV Eindhoven kept their hopes of progress in the UEFA Champions League alive as Jefferson Farfán's goal late in the first half gave them a hard-earned victory at PFC CSKA Moskva.
Nothing less than a victory was needed for PSV to remain in touch in Group G and although CSKA had the better of the game, they were unable to cancel out Farfan's 39th-minute header. The result ended the Russian side's hopes of clinching a UEFA Cup place and means they will finish bottom of the section. PSV could qualify for the knockout stage should they defeat FC Internazionale Milano on 12 December, and will at least play some European football in the new year.
Considering the sleety conditions it was unsurprising that both teams took their time to settle. PSV, without injured captain Timmy Simons, his midfield deputy Tommie van der Leegte and the suspended Eric Addo, nearly fell behind early when Deividas Šemberas put in a low cross and Ramón turned it just wide. Dawid Janczyk, leading the CSKA line in the absence of Vágner Love and Jô, also went close. PSV had another scare when Farfán had to receive lengthy treatment.
He was free to continue, however, but CSKA still threatened and Sergei Ignashevich shot over from distance. However, with six minutes left in the first half PSV revived their hopes in the group. Teenage defender Dirk Marcellis, whose own goal on Matchday 4 at Fenerbahçe SK had set PSV on the way to defeat, advanced up the right wing and crossed into the centre. CSKA captain Ignashevich tried to cut it out, but the ball looped off his foot into the goalmouth and Farfán bundled it in.
CSKA's campaign has been marked by unfortunate home results against Fenerbahçe and Inter and they emerged for the second half determined to avoid another one. Yuri Zhirkov's crossed free-kick was headed only just over by Dudu and Jancyzk forced Heurelho Gomes into a save. Fine work from Elvir Rahimić and Zhirkov seemed to have set up Dudu, but Slobodan Rajković did excellently to block the shot at source.
Danko Lazović broke forward for PSV, but he stepped on the ball as he approached Igor Akinfeev in the CSKA goal. At the other end, Gomes denied Evgeni Aldonin as he tried his luck with an angled effort. Šemberas found Jancyzk, but his strike was deflected away, and although a corner from substitute Caner Erkin was misjudged by Gomes, Rahimić headed over with the goal gaping. Still CSKA kept pushing, but PSV held firm with a last-gasp Gomes save from Vasili Berezutski ensuring the next European games for the deposed Russian champions will be in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.
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