FC Sheriff held off a determined first-half effort from FC Anji Makhachkala before coming on strong in the second as the Group K spoils were shared in Tiraspol.
Some of the Russian visitors' approach play was as slick as the surface amid driving rain in the opening period, but Sheriff, and goalkeeper Vjekoslav Tomić in particular, held firm. The Moldovan outfit pushed Anji back after the interval and almost pinched it at the death, only for Ismail Isa to be denied by some last-ditch defending.
Anji went into the game seeking their first win of 2013/14 after eight games and it was they who made much of the running. Using the flanks and attacking with pace, they were soon camped in the Sheriff half, posing questions for Tomić. The goalkeeper almost always had an answer, though, never more so than when he dived to his left midway through the opening period to tip Nikita Burmistrov's free-kick around the post.
He was beaten when Islamnur Abdulavov met a Kamil Agalarov cross, but the 19-year-old headed just wide, and when Agalarov jinked in from the left just before the break, Tomić ought to have been silenced. The right-back failed to find either of the two players running into space through the middle, however. Even when the keeper fumbled the resulting corner, Marcel Metoua was on hand to hack clear.
Anji were superior despite the loss of Alexandru Epureanu and Lacina Traoré before the break, and it looked like being more of the same when Tomić denied Burmistrov soon after the restart. Instead, Sheriff, who warmed up for this by hitting seven at the weekend, grew in confidence and almost stole it at the end when Isa twice had shots blocked following an added-time corner. The wait goes on for Anji.
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