2017-18 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Georgi Schennikov (13')
  • Jardel (56' OG)

CSKA Moscow beat Benfica to close in on UCL round of 16

CSKA Moscow moved closer to a spot in the Champions League round of 16 with a 2-0 win over Benfica on Wednesday.

Georgy Shchennikov gave CSKA an early lead, despite an apparent offside. Then an own goal from Jardel ensured Benfica -- who are eliminated -- slipped to their fifth defeat in five Champions League games this season.

The result lifts CSKA into second place in Group A, though Basel can take back the place with a win over Manchester United in Wednesday's later game. For CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, it marked the end of an 11-year wait for a shutout in the Champions League proper.

"We played well today, really well organized and good on the counter," CSKA midfielder Alan Dzagoev said.

Under pressure to win because Basel have the edge on head-to-head if they finish equal on points, CSKA started with three up front, including midfielder Pontus Wernbloom as a makeshift forward.

CSKA took the lead in the 13th minute when Bibras Natkho picked up a clearance from the Benfica box and fed it through to Shchennikov, who appeared to be offside. The CSKA left-back scored with a calm finish.

Benfica missed a good chance to hit back almost immediately when Jonas fired a shot wide, while at the other end Dzagoev forced an acrobatic save from Benfica goalkeeper Bruno Varela.

CSKA made it 2-0 in the 56th minute when a cross by Vitinho was deflected into the net off defender Jardel's thigh.

Vitinho missed good chances to score a second, while Akinfeev saved a free kick by Jonas to prevent a Benfica comeback.