CSKA Moscow Goalkeeper Finally Keeps Clean Sheet After 11 Years, 43 CL Games

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CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev kept his first clean sheet in the Champions League for more than 11 years as his side beat Benfica 2-0.

Russia keeper Akinfeev, 31, had conceded in all of his last 43 games in the competition, excluding qualifiers.

The last team to fail to score past him in the Champions League was Arsenal in a 0-0 draw on 1 November 2006.

Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie were the last strikers who failed to beat the Russia No1.

And Diogo Goncalves, Jonas and Salvio formed the three-man attack that drew a blank this time around.

Akinfeev, 31, looked a relieved man at full-time – although his own celebrations were muted.

It brought to an end the longest run in Champions League history without a clean sheet

Georgy Schennikov’s strike and a Jardel own goal put CSKA second in Group A with one game to go.

It was a big win for his team, however, as CSKA on the verge of sealing a first last-16 berth for six seasons.

“Of course, we congratulated him after the match,” said CSKA coach Viktor Goncharenko. “All of the lads tried their best in the last part of the game to close any gaps and make sure Igor kept that clean sheet!”

Georgi Schennikov had put CSKA ahead after 13 minutes with a left-footed finish, having been assisted by Bibras Natcho’s short through ball that shredded Benfica’s backline.

The visitors’ troubles worsened after the interval as defender Jardel then clumsily deflected a cross by CSKA’s Vitinho into the back of his own net after 56 minutes.

CSKA’s win has put them in third place in Group A on nine points, the same as Basel, who moved into second place by beating leaders Manchester United 1-0. The Russians face United, who have 12 points, at Old Trafford in their final group game.

Yet the result ensured that former European champions Benfica, still without a point, are now certain to finish last.

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