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City news, 25.11.2005 15:41

Zenit St Petersburg 2 Sevilla 1

zenit_football Alexander Kerzhakov netted twice to put Zenit St Petersburg on the brink of qualification to the next stage of the UEFA Cup.

Sevilla rallied late on, pulling one back through Antonio Puerta, and only a fine save from home keeper Kamil Contofalsky prevented the Primera Liga side from scraping a point.

Zenit took the lead in the 11th minute with a simple goal.

Pavel Mares played in the ball from the left side of the penalty area to Kerzhakov whose low right-footed shot found the centre of the goal from a central position 12 yards out.

Five minutes later Kerzhakov fired wide again from 20 yards and next it was the turn of Andrei Arshavin to target the Sevilla goal although Antonio Notario made the save.

Sevilla threatened after 34 minutes when Fernando Sales headed the ball goalwards only for Contofalsky to make the save.

However, Zenit were having the better of the first half and another shot from Kerzhakov, this time from a free-kick, forced Notario into action again.

When the match resumed in the second period Sevilla had plenty of possession but the Spanish club were still finding it hard to convert it into goal chances.

After 50 minutes Notario again came to the rescue of his team when he clutched a shot by Arshavin.

Notario was being made to earn his wages and next he fumbled a Kerzhakov shot although there was no St Petersburg player on hand to get in a rebound shot.

In a rare Sevilla foray, Javier Saviola got in a dangerous looking shot only for Erik Hagen to get in a vital deflection.

Saviola was finishing the game well and after 81 minutes his right-footed shot brought Contofalsky into the game again with another important save.

The Slovakian goalkeeper then did well to punch away a Frederic Kanoute cross as Sevilla threatened and next Enzo Maresca fired over as the Andalusians pressed.

Kerzhakov then got his second in the 89th minute, calmly sidefooting into the bottom left-hand corner from 12 yards.

Sevilla pulled one back in injury time, Puerta slotting home from close range after Saviola had connected with Jordi's corner at the far post.

The Spaniards almost found time to snatch an unlikely draw but Contofalsky blocked Blanco Kepa's last-ditch effort.


Zenit St Petersburg (1) 2 Sevilla (0) 1

Zenit St Petersburg Contofalsky, Alexander Kerzhakov, Flachbart, Hagen, Krizanac, Mares, Gorshkov, Aniukov, Radimov (Denisov 67), Spivak (Vlasov 88), Arshavin (Sumulikoski 90).

Subs Not Used: Malafeev, Cadikovski, Korzhanov, Vjestica.

Booked: Arshavin, Hagen, Gorshkov, Mares.

Goals: Alexander Kerzhakov 11, 89.

Sevilla Notario, David (Navas 53), Daniel, Dragutinovic, Aitor Ocio, Sales (Kanoute 63), Puerta, Renato (Jordi 15), Maresca, Saviola, Kepa.

Subs Not Used: Palop, Pablo Alfaro, Marti, Adriano Correia.

Booked: Daniel, Sales, Dragutinovic, Jordi, Maresca, Puerta.

Goals: Puerta 90.

Att: 17,000

Ref: Philippe Leuba (Switzerland).

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(c) 2000