A disciplined performance at Estádio da Luz was enough to earn PFC CSKA Moskva a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup ahead of a frustrated SL Benfica side.
A well worked free-kick finished by Sergei Ignashevich effectively ended the tie early in the second half, ample reward for a resolute show by the Russian team - who led 2-0 from the first leg - before substitute Azar Karadas's consolidation had given the home crowd some hope with 27 minutes remaining.
Long spells of possession had yielded no return for Benfica in Russia a week ago and coach Giovanni Trapattoni responded by making only one change, hoping home advantage would make a difference. Greek defender Panagiotis Fyssas started in place of Manuel Dos Santos on the left, while Yuri Zhirkov returned to the CSKA midfield after serving a suspension.
Predictably Benfica started brightly as they sought the goal that would reignite the contest. But the eager crowd had to wait 15 minutes until the home side mustered a shot on target, some slick build-up on the edge of the penalty area allowing Manuel Fernandes a shooting opportunity that found Igor Akinfeev in decent form.
But just as Benfica threatened to take control of the match, Gazzaev's men found their feet. After weathering the slight storm, they effectively snuffed out the chance of any dangerous momentum Benfica might build. And they almost killed the tie off after Daniel Carvalho's 23rd-minute shot was deflected into the net, only to be ruled out for offside.
More frustration for Benfica followed, as their attacks were met with an increasingly resolute CSKA defence, and growing threat in forward positions - scorer in the first leg Vágner Love, isolated early on, tormented the Benfica back four more as the half progressed. For Benfica only another long-distance effort had Akinfeev tipping over as the half ended.
CSKA's exertions were rewarded with a fine opening goal early in the second half. Gazzaev's delight was clear as a training ground set-play worked perfectly, Evgeni Aldonin's dummy over a short free-kick fooled everyone, giving captain Ignashevich time to stroke the ball into the corner for a precious away goal.
Ray of hope
With the game looking lost Trapattoni committed all his substitutes, and within five minutes the gamble paid off. Karadas, introduced to make a front four, met Petit's corner with enough purchase to beat Akinfeev at his far post, the young goalkeeper failing to hold the header.
CSKA hold on
But with less than half-an-hour to score a further three times, the renewed optimisim soon fizzled out, as CSKA stood firm. They now meet FK Partizan in the last 16, home and away fixtures taking place on 10 and 17 March. Benfica's hopes of playing in the final in Lisbon, however, are over.
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