Zhirkov completes Zenit’s Olimp Russian Cup quarterfinal comeback in extra time

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Akhmat Grozny 1-2 Zenit St. Petersburg (aet)

Wednesday 4 March, Akhmat Arena

Goals: Roshi (59’ pen); Rigoni (78’), Zhirkov (96’)

Yuriy Zhirkov came off the bench to volley in a calm finish seven minutes into added time to win the Olimp Russian Cup quarter final for Zenit St. Petersburg. Akhmat Grozny had taken the lead through an Odise Roshi penalty after an hour before Emiliano Rigoni equalised 12 minutes from time.

Bernard Berisha twisted Vyacheslav Karavaev and Magomed Ozdoev inside out just before the hour mark before being tripped by the latter. The referee pointed to the spot, and Roshi slotted calmly into the bottom right corner.

With quarter of an hour to go Yaroslav Rakitskiy collected a drifting cross beyond the back post to suddenly find himself in plenty of space eight yards out. His powerful shot was turned over by Evgeniy Gorodov to maintain the lead.

Three minutes later Zenit were level. Yuriy Zhirkov - who had only come on as a substitute a little over 10 minutes earlier - intelligently cut back a simple pass to give Rigoni time to clip a composed shot past Gorodov.

Deep into added time after the regulation 90 minutes Malcom inexplicably failed to tap in from three yards out from a deep cross. In extra time Ravanelli bent a dipping effort inches over before Rakitskiy saved Kerzhakov’s blushes after he had been rounded by Ablaye Mbengue.

Shortly after Zhirkov applied the decisive blow by carefully threading a volley through a crowded box after Malcom’s corner had been headed clear.

Zenit St. Petersburg will now play Spartak Moscow in the semi final of the Olimp Russian Cup in April.

Akhmat Grozny: Gorodov, Bogosavac, Semenov, Angel, Nenakhov, Ivanov, Glushakov (Kharin 82’), Roshi (Kh. Kadyrov 112’), Ismael Silva (Ravanelli 91’), Berisha, Ilyin

Zenit St. Petersburg: Kerzhakov, Karavaev, Ivanovic, Rakitskiy, Douglas Santos, Erokhin (Zhirkov 64’), Ozdoev, Barrios, Rigoni (Osorio 106’), Sutormin (Shatov 64’), Malcom

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