The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Viktoria Plzen beats 9-man CSKA Moscow 2-1 in Champions League, books Europa League spot
PLZEN, Czech Republic - Second-half substitute Tomas Wagner scored in the final minute as Viktoria Plzen came from behind to beat a nine-man CSKA Moscow 2-1 in their final group match of the Champions League on Tuesday to secure a place in the Europa League.
Plzen finished third in Group D with three points, while CSKA ended bottom of the table — also with three points. Bayern Munich and Manchester City advanced from the group to the knockout stage.
Unmarked Wagner collected a Frantisek Rajtoral cross to net the winner from close range with an unstoppable right-foot blast, seven minutes after coming off the bench.
"It's a precious goal," Wagner said. "We believed till the end" we could win.
Substitute Keisuke Honda set up the go-ahead goal for CSKA with a precise cross for Ahmed Musa to head home from close range in the 65th minute.
The Czechs went on an all-assault attack since that paid off. Daniel Kolar equalized in the 76th with a header off a Pavel Horvath precise cross.
Alan Dzagoev was sent off in the 67th for a foul from behind on Vaclav Prochazka and Pontus Wernbloom followed him in injury time after pushing a player to the ground to set up a CSKA free kick in an emotional finish.
"It was all about emotions," Plzen coach Pavel Vrba said.
The match was a farewell for Vrba who takes over the Czech national team in January. The 50-year-old led Plzen to the lucrative Champions League twice in the last three years. Plzen also became the first Czech club to extend their European campaign into spring for the third straight year.
"It's a great success for us, we're changing the history of Czech football," Vrba said.
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(1 of 50 articles for this week)03/9/2014 12:25 AM 0