PFC CSKA Moskva progressed from the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in their fifth attempt after a dramatic victory at Beşiktaş JK took them into the first knockout round at VfL Wolfsburg's expense.
The Miloš Krasić-inspired 2-1 win against Wolfsburg a fortnight ago had meant that CSKA knew they would be through if they picked up more points here than the German side did at home to Manchester United FC. Krasić's strike late in the first half edged the visitors ahead and although Bobô levelled with four minutes left, Evgeni Aldonin won the game deep in added time; as it turned out even a point would have been enough for CSKA thanks to Wolfsburg's 3-1 loss to United. At kick-off Beşiktaş could have taken a UEFA Europa League berth with victory but three home defeats in the group proved their undoing.
Home side threaten
Beşiktaş came close to breaking the deadlock eight minutes in when captain İbrahim Üzülmez tested Igor Akinfeev, and not long afterwards Rodrigo Tello received a perfect pass from Ekrem Dağ and beat CSKA's offside trap but his chipped shot skimmed the bar. Krasić was a constant threat down the right though at this stage chances were few for youngsters Tomáš Necid and Alan Dzagoev in attack.
Necid, scorer of CSKA's equaliser against Wolfsburg, was denied by the alert İbrahim Toraman on the half-hour but it was still out of the blue when some Krasić brilliance broke the deadlock four minutes before the break. Deividas Šemberas played in the winger with an incisive ball to the left of the box and Krasić's superb angled shot beat Rüştü Reçber at his far post.
Rüştü, himself a star on Matchday 5 in the 1-0 win at Manchester United FC that ensured Beşiktaş would have something to play for tonight, had to receive treatment – and a new shirt – after a brave dive early in the second half left blood gushing from his nose. But the home side were full of vigour and İbrahim Toraman headed just over as Wolfsburg's equaliser against United left CSKA desperate to hang on to their lead, though the English side soon restored their own advantage.
Home coach Mustafa Denizli sent Nihat Kahveci on in attack midway through the second half and five minutes later they went close again, Matteo Ferrari this time sending a header just over the bar. Nihat forced Akinfeev to save in the 83rd minute but Beşiktaş secured their equaliser when İbrahim Üzülmez sent a low ball into the box and Bobô slid in to score. As more than five minutes of additional time began, the final whistle in Wolfsburg ensured that CSKA only needed to hold on for a draw, but with almost the final kick Aldonin burst into the box and his strong finish sparked a celebration for which his club have been waiting a long time.