Champions League - Palop howler gifts CSKA win

Eurosport - Tue, 16 Mar 21:45:00 2010

CSKA Moscow booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to a howler from Sevilla keeper Andres Palop that gifted the Russians a 2-1 win in their last-16 second leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

2009-10 Champions League CSKA Moscow's Necid celebrates his goal against Sevill - 0

The keeper failed to keep out a second-half free-kick from Keisuke Honda despite getting two hands on the ball to gift the visitors to the Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium a 3-2 aggregate victory.

Tomas Necid had earlier given the visitors the lead after 38 minutes with a neat side-footed finish but Sevilla struck straight back two minutes later when Diego Perotti toe-poked home after a CSKA failed to deal with a long ball forward.

The game began in explosive fashion for the hosts with Luis Fabiano drawing a fine two-handed stop from CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev after only three minutes.

The early opportunity, however, did not set the tone for the rest of the encounter as the first half quickly descended into a dour war of attrition with both teams frequently gifting possession to the opposition.

The Spanish crowd became restless and whistled their disappointment as the hosts failed to unlock a steely Russian rearguard and resorted to lofting long balls into their opponents' box.

CSKA carved out their first real chance after 25 minutes when Honda combined well with Necid before firing straight at keeper Palop who saved well before the visitors made the breakthrough seven minutes before halftime.

Milos Krasic fed Necid on the edge of the area and he showed a great first touch to open his body up before side-footing neatly into the bottom corner.

The goal, though, served only to wake Sevilla from their slumber and within two minutes they were on level terms.

CSKA failed to deal with a simple long ball forward and Jesus Navas set up Perotti to toe-poke it past Akinfeev from 10 yards.

Sevilla brought on Frederic Kanoute at the break in an effort to carry the attacking impetus they had gained into the second half.

And the change almost paid immediate dividends when Perotti came within inches of making contact with a Kanoute flick-on with the goal gaping.

That was Sevilla's last clear-cut chance as on 54 minutes Palop handed the visitors the lead with an astonishing error.

Honda fired in a freekick from 25 yards that should have been comfortably dealt with by the Sevilla keeper but he somehow contrived to deflect it into his own net despite getting his whole body behind the ball.

That left the hosts needing to score twice to progress which proved to be an insurmountable task.

The Spanish side had struggled to break down the Russians throughout both legs of the encounter and apart from a late half-volley from Kanoute that flew over the bar, Akinfeev's goal remained unthreatened for the remainder of the tie.

Toby Davis / Eurosport

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