UEFA Cup holders PFC CSKA Moskva withstood a sustained spell of late pressure from SC Heerenveen to earn a share of the spoils in Group F.
The Russian side dominated for long spells of the encounter at the Abe Lenstra stadium, with Daniel Carvalho's diminutive figure casting a large shadow on the match. But the visitors failed to marry their attacking intent with an end product and the introduction of Georgios Samaras and Arnold Bruggink midway through the second half proved the catalyst for a late rally from the home side. CSKA hung on to gain their first point of the campaign following their defeat by Olympique de Marseille on Matchday 1.
These sides enjoyed their best UEFA Cup runs last season - Heerenveen impressing as they reached the quarter-finals of a competition that CSKA went on to win - and both teams began cautiously, content to feel each other out. The visitors slowly began to dominate a packed midfield, however, and so often the attacking instigator for CSKA, it was Carvalho that began orchestrating things, causing Marcel Seip all manner of problems on the left wing.
On 13 minutes he flashed a volley well over the crossbar, but he showed far more poise nine minutes later, chipping a low cross to Aleksei Berezutski who side-footed just wide. Paul Bosvelt dropped back to support the beleaguered Seip as half-time approached, so Carvalho simply switched flanks, and the ploy almost reaped immediate reward when the Brazilian slid a pass across the goalline but no one was on hand to turn it in.
CSKA's three-man back line were similarly dominant at the other end, although Uğur Yıldırım did force a save with an arcing free-kick. The second half continued in much the same vein, but the Russian side failed to make their dominance count and were almost made to pay when Samaras and Bruggink sparked off a late rally. Bruggink, Fernando Derveld, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Danijel Pranjić all tested Igor Akinfeev but the Russian side held on.