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Akinfeev talks up CSKA chances

Published: Thursday 14 September 2006, 12.20CET
He may have been man of the match in the 0-0 draw at FC Porto but PFC CSKA Moskva No1 Igor Akinfeev insisted he had a comfortable evening at the Dragão.
by Graham Hunter
from Porto

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Published: Thursday 14 September 2006, 12.20CET

Akinfeev talks up CSKA chances

He may have been man of the match in the 0-0 draw at FC Porto but PFC CSKA Moskva No1 Igor Akinfeev insisted he had a comfortable evening at the Dragão.

He may have been voted man of the match in PFC CSKA Moskva's 0-0 Group G draw at FC Porto but goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev feels he and his team-mates enjoyed a comfortable night at the Estádio do Dragão.

'Lack of experience'
The 20-year-old Russian international believes Porto are significantly weaker than the 2004 vintage that won the UEFA Champions League in Gelsenkirchen, as shown by their inability to convert numerous chances created by 18-year-old Brazilian Anderson. "Porto are not nearly as strong as the team that won this competition a couple of years ago and that is partly down to a lack of experience," Akinfeev said. "Even if they think they should have won this match, the fact is we have a valuable away point which can set us up to qualify for the knockout rounds."

Wins targeted
Akinfeev is thinking big with back-to-back Group G home matches against Hamburger SV and Arsenal FC on the horizon. "We have a couple of home games coming up and our objective is to record two wins and have seven points after three outings," he said. "If we achieve that then I feel we will have done enough to ensure that we finish as one of the top two sides in the group."

Guitar
The man between the sticks at the opposite end, Helton, had little to do in comparison with Akinfeev and the Brazilian exited the stadium looking particularly relaxed in a T-shirt and sandals - and carrying a guitar. He stopped long enough to put a positive spin on the scoreline, saying of coach Jesualdo Ferreira: "He's relatively new here and after a few weeks' work he has installed plenty of confidence and self-belief in the team. Even though we didn't win, I thought we put in a really convincing display. If we had put away even one of the chances then I think we might have won easily."

Quaresma regret
Ricardo Quaresma, CSKA's main tormentor along with Anderson, also regrets the lack of an end product from the Portuguese champions. He said: "Anderson is still very young and clearly has what it takes to become a world star, but this is a team game and we were by far the better team so we're obviously disappointed. Some games you win without deserving it and others you deserve to win but still don't. This was a sad example of the latter."

Last updated: 14/09/06 14.42CET

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