PFC CSKA Moskva proved they will be a force to be reckoned with in UEFA Champions League Group G as Dudu's second-half header clinched a 1-0 victory against Hamburger SV.
Dudu turned in a Daniel Carvalho cross 14 minutes after the break as CSKA finally made the most of one of the many chances that came their way. Hamburg, low on confidence and short on ideas, fell to their second consecutive defeat having failed to really trouble CSKA goalkeeper Igor Afinkeev all evening.
Hamburg were first to find their rhythm, settling into the game despite a barrage of noise from the CSKA fans who greeted the return of the UEFA Champions League to Moscow with a roar at kick-off. Hamburg had more of the ball, but CSKA looked more likely to make their possession count with Ivica Olić proving a willing runner alongside Vágner Love up front. The pair created the first opportunity on 14 minutes when Vágner Love's deft touch played in the speedy Croatian. Olić shot low, but Stefan Wächter, deputising for the suspended Sascha Kirschstein, blocked well with his legs.
Olić was only among the substitutes for CSKA's Matchday 1 draw at FC Porto and he vindicated Valeri Gazzaev's decision to recall him here. His header was deflected narrowly wide on the half-hour then just a minute later he combined well again with Vágner Love, only the outstretched leg of Vincent Kompany preventing the ball reaching the Brazilian as he burst into the area to collect Olić's pass.
Hamburg were struggling to make an impression, and on the one occasion they did work a half-chance Akinfeev was quickly off his line to smother at the feet of Danijel Ljuboja. CSKA still finished the half the stronger, Dudu flashing a header wide from Daniel Carvalho's corner.
CSKA kept up the pressure after the break with half-time substitute Miloš Krasić providing a new menace down the right. He softened the Hamburg defence with a series of threatening runs before Dudu provided the killer blow. This time the cross came in from the left, Daniel Carvalho swinging in a corner that his Brazilian compatriot headed fiercely in on 59 minutes.
Hamburg coach Thomas Doll responded with a double substitution on 70 minutes as Juan Pablo Sorín, still working his way back to full fitness, and Nigel de Jong made way for Piotr Trochowski and José Paolo Guerrero. His side, though, despite a couple of long-range Boubacar Sanogo efforts, failed to threaten. CSKA almost made sure of the points when Wächter was called on to save again as another wicked Daniel Carvalho cross was touched goalwards by Mehdi Mahdavikia. There was even time for the CSKA supporters to celebrate the return from injury of their prolific Brazilian striker Jô, before Hamburg's Benjamin Lauth was dismissed for raising his arms five minutes after his late introduction. By then the damage to the visitors' hopes had already been done.