CSKA’s Zhamaletdinov debuts with winning goal at Benfica
LISBON, Portugal (AP) CSKA Moscow forward Timur Zhamaletdinov made a memorable Champions League debut on Tuesday by scoring the winner in a 2-1 comeback victory over Benfica in Group A.
The 20-year-old substitute was on hand to prod in a rebound in the 73rd minute, four minutes into his first Champions League game.
The chance came after a ball over the top found CSKA defender Viktor Vasin in the opposition box. Vasin turned and shot, showing off skills more typical of a striker, and goalkeeper Bruno Varela could only parry the ball to the feet of Zhamaletdinov.
CSKA had to rally from 1-0 down after Haris Seferovic gave Benfica the lead in the 50th minute, beating CSKA defender Alexei Berezutsky to a cross at the near post from Richairo Zivkovic.
The Russian team hit back in the 63rd when Vitinho blasted the ball into the top-left corner from the penalty spot, after a hotly disputed hand-ball call against Andre Almeida.
After Zhamaletdinov put the Russian team ahead, Benfica pushed forward in search of an equalier, but couldn’t break down CSKA’s defense.
The win is a boost to CSKA’s hopes of ending a four-season run of finishing last in its Champions League group.