FC Twente stunned hosts FC Rubin Kazan as late goals from Luuk de Jong and captain Peter Wisgerhof secured a 2-0 win in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie at the Luzhniki Stadium.
The match, initially scheduled to be played in Kazan, was moved to Moscow because of the state of the Centralny Stadium pitch. The conditions were testing all the same, a cold front having hit the Russian capital, and it was Rubin who settled more quickly. Kurban Berdyev's side took early control and Igor Lebedenko engineered a perfect chance for Vladimir Dyadyun after 15 minutes only for the tall striker to slice his shot wide.
New boy Lebedenko and Dyadyun – recently returned from a loan spell at PFC Spartak Nalchik – were surprise inclusions in Berdyev's starting XI, along with reserve goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis. Yet despite Rubin's first-half possession and pressure, they were unable to work any further clear openings before the break.
Rubin continued where they left off in the second half, pinning Twente back for prolonged periods. However, it was the Dutch title holders who had the first opportunity of the second period after 71 minutes when defender Roberto Rosales, supporting a rare Twente foray down the right, dragged a powerful shot wide from the edge of the area.
Berdyev immediately threw on Alan Kasaev for Gökdeniz Karadeniz in an effort to spice up Rubin's attack but to no avail. The momentum had swung Twente's way. Arlauskis saved at the feet of Bryan Ruiz, then Salvatore Bocchetti's goal-line clearance denied Nacer Chadli but finally, with 13 minutes remaining, Theo Janssen teed up De Jong after a corner and the forward, deputising for the injured Marc Janko, headed home.
Another set-piece in the 88th minute made things even sweeter for Michel Preud'homme's men. Janssen's corner found De Jong again and although Arlauskis saved, skipper Wisgerhof was first to the rebound.
While Twente will head home perhaps with more than they had hoped for, Rubin coach Berdyev has a week to consider ways of overturning a two-goal deficit. For a Rubin team unbeaten at home in two UEFA Champions League campaigns, this was a bitter blow.