Russian champions Rubin Kazan failed to really turn the pressure on UEFA Champions League holders Barcelona on Tuesday as they were held 0-0 at home by Dynamo Kiev in their Group F match.
The result lifted Kazan onto six points alongside Italian outfit Inter Milan, who play at Barcelona later on Tuesday. Dynamo remain bottom of the group with five points.
However, victory would have really increased the pressure on Barcelona as Kazan would progress at the Catalans' expense were they to finish level on points on the hea- to-head rule. "It was a tough and very even match today," Rubin manager Kurban Berdyev said. "We managed to add a point and I'm really grateful to my players for their performance."
Both teams started cautiously trying to avoid unnecessary risks and failed to warm up the crowd under light snow. Dynamo looked more focused keeping the Rubin defence, led by goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov, under pressure thanks to the individual efforts of Andrei Shevchenko, they but failed to create any serious threat to the hosts goal.
Rubin Kazan, who clinched their second domestic title at the weekend, looked a bit rusty but created the only scoring chance just before the break, when Alejandro Dominguez' ten-metre overhead shot forced Dynamo keeper Alexander Shovkovsky into a diving save.
In the second-half the hosts added power and precision to their attacks pinning Dynamo back but the visitors played well defensively, relying primarily on counter-attacks.