PFC CSKA Moskva beat FC Rubin Kazan 1-0 at the Khimki Arena thanks to Evgeni Aldonin's added-time goal, claiming their fifth Russian Cup despite playing with ten men from the 13th minute after Pavel Mamaev's dismissal.
Rubin captain Sergei Semak was unavailable for the club's first Russian Cup final and CSKA, winners in each of their last four showpieces, started as favourites. However, the Army Men suffered a major blow when defensive midfielder Mamaev impeded Alejandro Domínguez and was sent off for a professional foul. CSKA opted for a more defensive approach after that and tried to attack on the break, a tactic which reaped its rewards in the dying seconds.
Ouwo Moussa Maazou, Daniel Carvalho and Vasili Berezutski all squandered good chances for CSKA in the first half while Rubin had the best opportunity on 33 minutes from a Domínguez free-kick, only for Christian Noboa to fail to convert and Roman Sharonov to be denied by goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. Both teams lacked creativity after the break but just as they were preparing themselves for extra time, Aldonin collected the ball from Carvalho, advanced and unleashed a blistering long-range shot into the corner of the net.
"We are happy we won the Russian Cup," said CSKA coach Zico. "I am especially happy about the way we did it. The team kept their balance, did not stop believing in themselves and showed strength and determination. It is very difficult to lose a man early on at such high temperatures. During the break, I asked everyone to give more than they could to compensate for Mamaev's absence. They responded very well, understood what I wanted, played it tight and were rewarded by Aldonin's great goal. I am doubly happy that the Russian Cup will stay at the club forever now [as CSKA won it for the fifth time]."
Rubin coach Kurban Berdyev said: "I congratulate CSKA on their deserved victory. The international experience CSKA have is invaluable and necessary in that kind of match. Today their experience told. In such games you have to be patient and play until the very end. This is what we have to learn from CSKA. After they were reduced to ten men, we started to be too cautious and were too scared of conceding."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.