CSKA Moscow have become the first team to go into the Round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League 2011, after they defeated PAOK Salonika courtesy of a slender 2-1 aggregate scoreline, following a 1-1 draw in Moscow on the evening of Tuesday 22nd February 2011.
CSKA carried a 1-0 advantage into this home match from the opening, away, leg, but that was cancelled out on 67 minutes when Muslimovic capitalised on a weak backpass to charge down an attempted clearance by CSKA goalkeeper, Chepchugov (who had replaced Akinfeev in the first half) and score in the empty net.
However, the Moscow side would get an opportunity to regain the advantage with a penalty kick, after Dario Kresic, in the PAOK goal brings down a player. The ‘keeper makes a save from Vagner Love, only to see the ball spin off the post straight to Ignashevich who rolls into the net, giving the game a 1-1 scoreline, which CSKA perhaps deserved from their superior shot-count. The clock had 80 minutes on it when this goal went in.
The goal meant CSKA had a 2-1 aggregate lead, and the match would definitely conclude on 90 minutes – any goal from PAOK would have been an effective winner under the away goals rule. However, a cagey final ten minutes – and a further seven of injury time – were all that home fans had to endure before the final whistle blew signalling their progression into the Round of 16.
CSKA Moscow, courtesy of their 2-1 aggregate win, bacame the first side to qualify for the last 16 of the 2011 UEFA Europa League.
FC Porto play Sevilla on Wendesday evening – CSKA Moscow will play the winner of that match in the next round of the Europa League.