Rubin beats Copenhagen 1-0 in Champs League
Christian Noboa scored from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time Wednesday to help Rubin Kazan beat Copenhagen 1-0 in the Champions League and keep alive the team's chances of advancing to the knockout stage.
It was Rubin's first home victory in the Champions League, although it remains third in Group D with six points from five games, one point behind Copenhagen. Barcelona tops the standings with eight points from four games and played winless Panathinaikos later Wednesday.
Copenhagen, which beat Rubin 1-0 in the group stage opener in September, needed at least a draw to become the first Danish team to advance to the knockout stage of the competition.
The visitors played defensively in the first half and had only one scoring opportunity when Jesper Gronkjaer broke down the left flank 14 minutes into the game. His pass into the center of the box found Christian Bolanos but the midfielder fired over the crossbar.
Rubin gradually mounted pressure but Copenhagen defended solidly.
The penalty came after Bebras Nacho sent a free kick into the box and Gronkjaer deflected it with his hand. Noboa slotted the ball high into the net, safely away from goalkeeper Johan Wiland.
It was only the second goal scored by Rubin in the Champions League this season. Noboa scored the first as well in a 1-1 home draw against Barcelona in September.
Both teams played more aggressively in the second half. The visitors came close to equalizing in the 76th but Dame N'Doye's shot from inside the box hit the crossbar. Rubin goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov then blocked Claudemir's shot from outside the box in the 86th.
Gokdeniz Karadeniz had Rubin's last chance in the final minute of regulation before the 16-year-old Zohore forced a superb save from Ryzhikov with a shot from 12 meters (yards) in injury time.
Copenhagen hosts Panathinaikos on Dec. 7 in the final group round, while Rubin will be at Barcelona.