MOSCOW: CSKA Moscow boosted morale ahead of next week’s Champions League match against Spanish giants Real Madrid with a 1-0 win at promoted Orenburg on Friday.
A 32nd-minute penalty by forward Fyodor Chalov sealed the victory to send CSKA into third spot in the league, six points adrift of leaders Zenit Saint Petersburg, who visit strugglers Anzhi Makhachkala on Sunday.
“It was a very tight game,” said CSKA coach Viktor Gancharenko, whose side entertain Real on October 2 having opened their Champions League Group G campaign with a 2-2 draw against Plzen.
“We started well, we were in control, and scored a deserved goal. We’re very happy with the win.”
With CSKA dominating play and possession from the start, Chalov consolidated his outright lead in the league scorers’ chart with his seventh of the season from the spot after he was brought down in the box.
Orenburg replied positively, but CSKA’s defence experienced few troubles in stifling the hosts’ attacking game.
Croatian midfielder Nikola Vlašić missed an excellent chance to increase CSKA’s lead in injury time, sending the ball over the crossbar with a free kick from 23 metres out.
“It was a very good, very dynamic game,” Orenburg head coach Vladimir Fedotov said. “Both teams played well and created a serious set of scoring chances, but CSKA were just a bit more lucky today.”