LISBON, Portugal - Yuri Zhirkov scored the deciding goal and Daniel Carvalho had three assists to help CSKA Moscow beat Sporting Lisbon 3-1 and capture the UEFA Cup on Wednesday.
Alexei Berezutskiy and Vagner Love also scored for CSKA, which became the first Russian club to win the European title.
Trailing 1-0, Carvalho sent a free kick to Berezutskiy for the tying goal in the 57th minute. CSKA took the lead in the 66th when Carvalho sent a through ball to Zhirkov, who ran into the area and shot the ball through the legs of Sporting goalie Ricardo.
Love made it 3-1 in the 75th, scoring into an open net after a pass from Carvalho on the counterattack.
“We were ashamed of by our first half performance,” Carvalho said. “In the interval, we felt that if we were going to lose, we should lose with honor, so we went out and played like we can.”
Carvalho, who moved from the Brazilian club Internacional last year, was named man of the match.
Rogerio gave Sporting a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, sending a chip from outside the box into the top right corner of the goal to beat 19-year-old goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Sporting had more possession in the first half, but despite having eight corners to CSKA’s one, its considerably shorter forwards had difficulty getting past the Russian defense.
“We knew Sporting would start strong in front of their own fans so for the first 20 minutes we had to be careful and defensive to slow them down,” said CSKA coach Valery Gazzaev. “In the second half, we had to correct our midfield and we became more offensive.”
The small section of red-and-blue clad CSKA fans let off flares in the stands in celebration. Around 4,000 CSKA fans were in the 45,000-seat stadium, vastly outnumbered by the home crowd.
The UEFA Cup is the No. 2 tournament in Europe behind the Champions Cup.
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