CSKA Moscow snatch dramatic point over Roma with late equalizer

Vasiliy Berezutskiy scored with the final kick of the game to earn CSKA Moscow a 1-1 draw with Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Francesco Totti, the Champions League’s oldest ever goalscorer, netted his second goal of the current campaign just before half-time to give Rudi Garcia’s side the lead in the Russian capital.

A defeat would have seen CSKA eliminated, but Berezutski levelled to make it 1-1 with the last kick of the game to deny Roma the chance of qualifying prior to their final group game at home to Manchester City on December 10, which will now be decisive.

Roma found the going much tougher than in their opening fixture in the Champions League against CSKA back in September, when they led 3-0 after just 20 minutes.

Although there were no fans to support them – the game being played behind closed doors as a result of the problems Moscow’s fans caused at the Stadio Olimpico – the freezing conditions nevertheless appeared to give the hosts a slight advantage.

At the same stage Roma were netting their fourth in a 5-1 rout in the reverse fixture, they had the chance to take the lead when Alessandro Florenzi tried to score from a tight angle when an unmarked Adem Ljajic was calling for the ball with an open goal in the center.

The hosts had an even better chance to take the lead five minutes before half-time when Seydou Doumbia was put through on goal, but Morgan De Sanctis made himself large to cover his near post, saving with his leg.

HEAR US OUT

Roma took the lead just two minutes before halftime when Totti fired a direct free-kick past the wall and into the left-hand corner, improving his record as the competition’s oldest goalscorer.

Before the break, Florenzi nearly made it two, but his 20-yard volley was turned round the post by Igor Akinfeev.

Radja Nainggolan wasted the chance to settle Roma’s nerves on the hour mark when he did everything right to skip past his marker before getting it wrong with his shot, which missed the far post.

It could have proven costly as CSKA responded to the warning by putting the Giallorossi under a steady stream of pressure.

Roma still had the chance to wrap up victory on the counter-attack when Juan Iturbe played in Ljajic, but it was Akinfeev’s turn to make a save with his legs.

There were many anxious moments for the Roma defense as Moscow pushed for an equalizer, but just when it seemed they had done enough, Berezutski’s curling cross beat everybody on its way into the far corner.

CSKA therefore travel to Munich for their final group game needing to better Roma’s result against Manchester City to stand a chance of qualifying.

Information from Goal.com was used in this report.