KAZAN - Rubin Kazan beat FC
Copenhagen 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday to keep
alive their slim hopes of reaching the knockout round.
Rubin captain Christian Noboa fired the home side in front
with virtually the last kick of the first half when he converted
a penalty in added time after English referee Martin Atkinson
had penalised the visitors for a handball.
It was only the second goal scored by the Russians in their
five group matches. Ecuador international Noboa converted a spot-kick in a 1-1 home draw with Barcelona in September.
Despite the defeat the Danish champions, who finished bottom
of the group on their only previous Champions League appearance
three years ago, remain on track to advance to the round of 16
for the first time along with Group D leaders Barcelona.
Second-placed Copenhagen lead Rubin by a point with the last
round of matches still to come.
Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken blamed the defeat on the
"We defended very well and the penalty was just stupid. We
have several good chances in the second half and deserved at
least a point from this game," he told a news conference.
The first half was a drab affair with neither team making a
single shot on goal.
Rubin, missing their most expensive import in Brazilian
striker Carlos Eduardo, who joined from Bundesliga side
Hoffenheim for 20 million euros in the summer
transfer window through injury, clearly lacked the finishing
touch up front.
Both teams picked up the tempo after the break, however,
with Copenhagen pushing forward in search of an equaliser.
Senegalese forward Dame N'Doye, who scored a late winner for
Copenhagen when they beat Rubin 1-0 at home in their group
opener in September, came close to an equaliser when he rattled
the crossbar with a powerful drive midway through the second
Copenhagen had another good chance late in the game when
substitute Kenneth Zohore fired straight at Rubin keeper Sergei
Ryzhikov from 12 metres.
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