Goal of the day: Sergei Semak (Zenit) vs Benfica | inside World Soccer

Goal of the day: Sergei Semak (Zenit) vs Benfica

[Thursday, February 16, 2012 ]

Sergei Semak scored one of the goals of the season as Zenit St Petersburg came from behind to edge out Benfica 3-2 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Zenit St Petersburg player Sergei Semak scores a back-heel goal past Benfica goalkeeper Artur
Zenit St Petersburg player Sergei Semak scores a back-heel goal past Benfica goalkeeper Artur

Photo: Getty Images

Maxi Pereira opened the scoring for the visitors 20 minutes in on Wednesday, but Roman Shirokov hit back for the hosts seven minutes later to have things level at half-time.

Half-time substitute Semak then put the Russian champions ahead in the 71st minute with a goal of true quality.

A hopeful ball forward was kept alive brilliantly by Alexander Kerzhakov's flick from the byline to Vladimir Bystrov, who crossed first time for Semak to swivel and knock in a terrific finish with a flying back heel.

A late equaliser from Óscar Cardozo appeared to restore parity for the second leg, but Shirokov rounded off his double with two minutes to go to send the tie to Lisbon on a knife's edge.

"Semak scored a fantastic goal today. It's becoming a bit of a habit for him to get spectacular strikes. In last year's Europa League he also scored a super goal with his left foot," Shirokov told UEFA.com.

Somewhat disappointingly Semak has played down his heroics, saying: "Luck certainly played its part. I was a bit fortunate with the goal; I looked at the situation I was in and took a shot. Luckily for me it managed to go in the bottom corner.

"I don't think it was down to my skill as a footballer − on the contrary, it was down to luck."


Don't forget to check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more soccer updates!


Also see: