A stunning goal by Serbian international Milos Krasic gave CSKA Moscow a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Wednesday in their UEFA Champions League Group B clash.
Wolfsburg had looked to be on target for at the very least the draw they required to seal their place in the last 16, but instead it is CSKA who have the upper hand now as they travel to bottom side Besiktas in a fortnight. Wolfsburg next host already-qualified Manchester United.
"We won today and still have the chance to go through," said CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky. "In December we will depend on the result of the other match in our group but it is better than nothing. Today we were the better team and, I think, deservedly won."
Edin Dzeko - apparently a target for AC Milan - had given Wolfsburg the lead in the 19th minute as he received the ball on the right side of the penalty area from former Newcastle United striker Obafemi Martins and chipped over goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
The goal came completely against the run of play with Krasic - reportedly another AC Milan target for next summer - running the show and creating the chances. The 25-year-old Serbian playmaker himself went agonisingly close as he burst into the penalty area but with just the keeper to beat he shot just past the post.
However, it was defender Aleksei Berezutskiy who had a golden opportunity to level the match 10 minutes from the break as a Wolfsburg defender's attempted clearance ended up being a pass to him, but from just yards out his shot was saved by keeper Diego Benaglio's legs.
Martins thought he had virtually wrapped up the match in the 55th minute as he put the ball in the net after fine work down the right wing by Sascha Riether but it was ruled out for offside against Dzeko.
CSKA pile the pressure
It was end-to-end stuff as CSKA went desperately searching for the goals they required to keep them in the hunt for a place in the knockout stages and Benaglio did well to get down and save with his right leg a shot by Pavel Mamaev. However, Benaglio had no chance in the 58th minute as Czech striker Tomas Necid rose unmarked to head home a superb cross by Evgeni Aldonin and level the match.
Only some desperate defending from Wolfsburg prevented the Russian onslaught with Portuguese central defender Ricardo Costa saving them on more than one occasion. Neither he nor Benaglio could do anything about Krasic's stunning 66th minute effort, though, as coming into the middle of the pitch off his wing he collected the ball and lashed an unstoppable effort from 30 yards out for his third goal in five Champions League matches this season.
Wolfsburg only really tested CSKA once more with Marcel Schafer's chip towards the far corner of the goal being brilliantly tipped away by Akinfeev.
Wolfsburg manager Armin Veh said he was upset both with a defeat and a missed chance to qualify for the last 16. "We were in complete control of play in the first half," he said. "But after the break we played too loosely in defence. Necid scored from seven metres with an unopposed header. We should never allow him to do that. Krasic scored a fantastic goal but still everything is in our hands. We just need to beat Manchester United."