CSKA Moscow fights back to win 2-1 at Basel in CL
BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — CSKA Moscow clawed back into Champions League contention on Tuesday with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Basel on Tuesday.
Basel seemed set to advance from Group A alongside Manchester United with two games to spare when it led at halftime through Luca Zuffi’s clever 32nd-minute shot.
The game changed when CSKA’s fit-again playmaker Alan Dzagoev came on for the second half and sparked the visitors’ attack.
Dzagoev lifted a deft shot over Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik in the 65th, and midfielder Pontus Wernbloom fired in a low shot in the 79th from outside the penalty area.
Both CSKA scorers were teed up by inadvertent ricochets off Basel captain Marek Suchy, a former Spartak Moscow defender.
After Basel won in Moscow two weeks ago, the two teams both have six points. Group leader Man United has a perfect 12 points after beating Benfica 2-0 but is still not assured of advancing.
Basel hosts the English team in three weeks’ time.
Dzagoev was judged not fit enough to start in St. Jakob-Park, though he returned to action just in time for CSKA after a one-month absence with an Achilles injury.
If Basel lacked the attacking zest of its 5-0 home win over Benfica last month, the technique shown by Zuffi was worthy of taking the lead.
Zuffi reacted with poise when the ball looped off goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev who was drawn out to save at the feet of Mohamed Elyounoussi. Zuffi turned sideways to the goal outside the penalty area and lifted his left foot high to direct the ball back into an empty net.
The goal extended Akinfeev’s run of failing to keep a clean sheet for CSKA in 43 straight Champions League group-stage games dating back 11 years.
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