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Zenit pressure tells against AEL

FC Zenit 3-0 AEL Limassol FC (agg: 3-1)
Ten-man AEL buckled at the last, goals from Danny and Aleksandr Kerzhakov ending their adventure.

Danny celebrates his 88th-minute effort for Zenit
Danny celebrates his 88th-minute effort for Zenit ©Mike Kireev

AEL Limassol FC buckled at the last in their UEFA Champions League third qualifying decider at FC Zenit, Danny's goal and an Aleksandr Kerzhakov penalty stopping the ten men from taking the tie into extra time.

A 1-0 win in the first leg had given last season's Cypriot league runners-up hope, but their task at the Stadion Petrovski got much harder on 27 minutes when Danielzinho was sent off for a second bookable offence. It took until the second half for José Rondón to get Zenit back on terms, but André Villas-Boas's side eventually made pressure pay, rounding off an aggregate win with an opportunistic strike in the 88th minute and a penalty in added time.

A man down, AEL held firm until the break, though Danny went close on 44 minutes following a fine delivery from Viktor Fayzulin. Rondón made the breakthrough on 55 minutes, getting a head to an Oleg Shatov cross. AEL goalkeeper Karim Fegrouch made a fine save to deny Rondón a second soon afterwards, and fended off another effort from the Venezuelan on 88 minutes only for Danny to tuck away the loose ball.

Kerzhakov then made things absolutely certain in added time after being fouled in the box, beating Fegrouch with a Panenka-style penalty.