Champions League: Zenit 3-2 Benfica | inside World Soccer

Champions League: Zenit 3-2 Benfica

[Thursday, February 16, 2012 ]

Zenit St Petersburg fought back from a goal down to edge out Benfica 3-2 in a thrilling Champions League round-of-16 first-leg clash at the Petrovsky Stadium.

Maxi Pereira put the visitors ahead in freezing conditions in Russia as he fired home in the 21st minute, but Roman Shirokov hit back for the hosts seven minutes later to have things level at half-time.

Sergei Semak's neat backheel gave Zenit the lead at the 71-minute mark before Óscar Cardozo equalised for Benfica three minutes from the end.

But there was still time for more drama, and with a minute remaining Shirokov sprang onto a loose ball to finish coolly past Benfica goalkeeper Artur.

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