Lille scored twice in the second
half to beat CSKA Moscow 2-0 away in freezing conditions on
Tuesday and send Group B rivals Inter Milan through to the
Champions League last 16 while reviving their own chances.
CSKA defender Vasily Berezutsky skewed the ball into his own
goal shortly after the break to put the visitors ahead.
Moussa Sow sealed his team's first win in the group midway
through the second half, tapping into an empty net after Joe
Cole's shot hit the post.
Lille's victory meant group leaders Inter qualified for the
first knockout round in February with nine points regardless of
the result of their match at Trabzonspor on Tuesday, which finished 1-1.
The French champions are now level with CSKA and Trabzonspor
on five points with one set of matches left to play and the top
two going through.
The Russians sorely missed top scorer Seydou Doumbia, whose
late double enabled them to snatch a 2-2 draw in Lille in their
first meeting in September.
The Ivory Coast striker has been on fire since joining CSKA
last year with 11 goals in 11 European games for the club.
Doumbia, who also notched up 24 goals to lead the Russian
league's scoring charts this season, was serving a one-game ban
after being red-carded in their previous game against
CSKA, decimated with injuries to many of their key players
this season, suffered another blow on the eve of Tuesday's match
when midfielder Keisuke Honda was ruled out with a knee problem.
The Japan international, who had just returned to CSKA's
lineup in a league game after missing more than three months
with torn ligaments in his knee, aggravated the injury in
training on Monday.
Without their creative players, the Russians looked
toothless in front of the goal for most of the match -- their
lone Brazilian striker Vagner Love unable to pose much of a
Lille dominated in the first half but wasted several
chances, midfielder Cole shooting straight at CSKA keeper
Vladimir Gabulov and defender Mathieu Debuchy hitting the bar
from close range.
Franck Beria just fired wide from a sharp angle after
Gabulov blocked Sow's shot.
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