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The Globe and Mail

CSKA strike late to salvage draw with Real Madrid

CSKA Moscow's Pontus Wernbloom celebrates after scoring against Real Madrid with teammate Vasili Berezutski.


A last-minute strike by CSKA Moscow newcomer Pontus Wernbloom snatched a 1-1 draw for the Russian side against Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16 first-leg match on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo had given the visiting Spaniards a deserved 1-0 lead after 28 minutes, taking full advantage of a CSKA defensive mix-up and beating nervous-looking goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov with a low volley into the far corner.

It was Ronaldo's 17th goal in his 23rd Champions League game for Real and 32nd in total in Europe's premier club competition.

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He missed a chance to double the lead shortly after the restart, but this time Chepchugov, making his Champions League debut, averted the danger.

The home side sorely missed their first-choice keeper Igor Akinfeyev, who is still recovering following knee surgery.

Chepchugov made a fine double save early on, first stopping Gonzalo Higuain, who had just replaced injured Karim Benzema, then denying Sami Khedira from close range seconds later.

Ronaldo had another chance late in the game but fired just wide of the post with a low shot from the edge of the box.

The visitors, who lost France forward Benzema just 15 minutes into the game after he appeared to pull a muscle while taking his first shot on goal, dominated for most of the match despite playing in sub-zero temperatures and on Luzhniki's unfamiliar artificial pitch.

CSKA's Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia, who has scored five goals in five Champions League games this season, was kept off the ball for most of the match by Real's tight defence.

The Russians rarely threatened until Sweden midfielder Wernbloom, who joined CSKA in January, beat Iker Casillas from 10 metres following a goalmouth scramble in the last minute of added time, sending a record 70,000-strong home crowd wild.

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