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City news, 19.02.2009 13:01

Zenit beats Stuttgart 2-1

zenit Anatoly Timoshchuk's first-half winner led defending champion Zenit St. Petersburg over Stuttgart 2-1 in the UEFA Cup round of 32 on Wednesday.

New Zenit signing Szabolcs Huszti scored from a rebound just two minutes into the game. But Mario Gomez picked up a loose ball in midfield and moved down the right flank to score an equalizer from the edge of the box in the 15th.

Zenit struggled before Timoshchuk fired the winner from just outside the box in first-half stoppage time but dominated after the interval only to waste numerous scoring opportunities on a grassless frozen field at Petrovskiy Stadium.

"It's difficult to keep tempo all 90 minutes on such a tough pitch," Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel said.

Igor Semshov was close to making it 3-1 two minutes into the second half but hit his teammate Pavel Pogrebnyak in a goalmouth scramble.

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