Vágner Love's penalty five minutes into the second half gave PFC CSKA Moskva the edge in their UEFA Cup Round of 16 tie with FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
Shakhtar dominated early on at the Luzhniki Stadium but could not find the target, and paid the price when Răzvan Raţ fouled Miloš Krasić inside the box and Vágner Love converted to claim his eleventh goal of this UEFA Cup campaign. The Ukrainian side will aim to turn the tables on their old Soviet Supreme League rivals in Donetsk a week tonight.
The visitors were quickly on the attack with Răzvan Raţ forcing a fingertip save from Igor Akinfeev with a long-range shot in only the fourth minute. Fernandinho also tried his luck from distance but his effort sailed over the crossbar, and the Brazilian then missed from close range. Darijo Srna was next to threaten, shooting over before Fernandinho was once more found wanting. CSKA rarely got a sight of goal other than when Yuri Zhirkov, who like Dmytro Chygrynskiy will miss the second leg after picking up a booking in Moscow, headed over on 28 minutes. Luiz Adriano soon resumed normal service by going close at the opposite end as Akinfeev's goal continued to lead a charmed life.
However, five minutes into the second half the 2004/05 UEFA Cup winners struck after Raţ felled Krasić. Vágner Love has missed nothing in this season's competition, and duly converted from the spot to move to within four goals of Jürgen Klinsmann's competition record of 15 goals in one campaign. Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar side sought an immediate equaliser, Akinfeev holding Mykola Ischenko's header from a corner and Fernandinho nodding a Srna free-kick over. Alan Dzagoev and Georgi Schennikov both threatened on the counterattack for CSKA, but it was the visitors that looked the more likely scorers, the busy Akinfeev denying substitutes Willian and Marcelo Moreno as CSKA clung on.