An Olexandr Spivak penalty and Andrei Arshavin's second-half strike proved enough for FC Zenit St. Petersburg to claim victory in their opening UEFA Cup Group H fixture against Vitória SC.
Spivak put the Russian side in front in the 39th minute, converting from the penalty spot after Guimarães defender Medeiros had been sent off for a second bookable offence. Andrei Arshavin added a second for Zenit after the break and, although Neca reduced the deficit a minute before the hour, Guimarães were unable to find an equaliser despite Zenit also finishing a man short as midfielder Vladislav Radimov was dismissed with five minutes to play.
The first chance arrived on seven minutes when a 15-metre shot by Guimarães's Targino flew wide. But Zenit began to apply some pressure and won a series of corners with goalkeeper Nilson called into action to turn away Alexander Kerzhakov's shot on 13 minutes. Nilson was again on hand to deny Arshavin 12 minutes before half-time, and Olexander Gorshkov's powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area was blocked by Mário Sérgio as Zenit continued to press.
The home side finally made the breakthrough their pressure had promised six minutes before the interval. Medeiros was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a late challenge on Igor Denisov, and Spivak made no mistake by powering in the resulting penalty.
Guimarães looked to battle back after the interval as Targino tried his luck again with a long-distance effort saved by Kamil Čontofalský before Zenit added their second on 54 minutes, Arshavin firing a shot high into the net from the edge of the penalty area after meeting Igor Denisov's right-wing cross.
Neca on target
The visitors refused to give up hope as Marek Saganowski sent the ball just wide, and their persistence paid off when Neca pulled a goal back within five minutes of Arshavin's strike with a shot from outside the penalty area. Both sides had a handful of chances late on but Guimarães could not find an equaliser even when Radimov was sent off with five minutes left, also for a second yellow card.
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