MOSCOW (AFP) - CSKA Moscow came from behind to draw 1-1 with Spanish side Sevilla in their Champions League last-16 clash here on Wednesday, leaving the return leg in two weeks time delicately poised.
CSKA bore little resemblance to a team that had not played a competitive match since December, producing some electric counter-attacking play down the flanks.
Chilean winger Mark Gonzalez produced a spectacular equaliser on 65 minutes with a 35-yard strike that is likely to be a contender for goal of the season, swerving past a helpless Andres Palop.
The home side could have added a second on 84 minutes when Czech striker Tomas Necid picked up the ball inside the Sevilla penalty area, only for his left foot shot to be saved by the 36-year-old custodian.
Sevilla coach Manuel Jimenez said he wanted to win at Moscow but added he was also pleased with a draw.
"We managed to grab a positive result here though it wasn't easy at all," he said.
"We had to adapt ourselves to the synthetic pitch to keep the ball under control. We scored before the break but Gonzalez equalised in the second. He scored a goal that is typical of him.
"A draw in the away match is a positive result. But anyway now we will need to seal the result in the return match."
Deprived of top scorer Luis Fabiano and a recovering Frederic Kanoute, the Spanish side lacked composure in front of goal and only took the lead with their first clear-cut chance of the game thanks to a defensive blunder.
A Jesus Navas cross evaded the entire CSKA defence, leaving Alvaro Negredo, who came into the match on the back of two successive red cards in the Spanish championship, to creep in behind for a simple tap-in on 24 minutes for his first Champions League goal of the season.
CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky admitted the Spaniards had the advantage but vowed they would be no push over in the second leg.
"We wanted to win very much but failed to keep a clean sheet," he said.
"After that Sevilla played very good defensively but we managed to level and had chances to score the winner.
"Now the Spanish side have more chance to go through but we are going to fight up to the very end. Everything will be decided in the return match."
Much of the pre-match hype had centred on CSKA's Serbian midfielder and reported Bayern Munich target Milos Krasic but tight marking by Sevilla's midfield enforcer Didier Zokora limited the 25-year-old's influence on the game.
That left Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda to provide the driving force for the Russian team's attacking play and he came close to adding his own name to the scoresheet on 31 minutes, firing just wide from 18 yards.
The 9-million-euro signing from Dutch side VVV-Venlo, making his first appearance for Slutsky's men, narrowly missed the target again minutes later when he picked up a rebound from an Evengi Aldonin effort.
The Russian Cup holders could have opened the scoring after only four minutes when Sevilla's French centre-back Julien Escude carelessly gave away possession to CSKA's Czech striker Tomas Necid.
The 19-year-old centred to former Liverpool man Gonzalez, who volleyed high and wide over Sevilla's crossbar.
Necid had his own chance three minute later when he ran onto a Keisuke Honda pass, only for Sevilla keeper Palop to comfortably palm his shot wide.
The return leg takes place on March 16 in Seville.
|13||M. González||66' 80'|
|Coach: L. Slutsky|
|Solanke leads Chelsea to All-Stars victory|
|Indonesian Football Association suspended by FIFA|
|Randolph agrees West Ham switch|
|Mancini vows to rebuild Inter|
|Russian Premier League Review: Torpedo Moscow and Arsenal Tula suffer relegation|
|Kane the difference again as Tottenham see off Sydney|
|Garcia proud of resilient Roma|
|Rio Ferdinand retires from football|
|World Cup allocation to remain unchanged, Blatter confirms|
|Blatter defiant after re-election|
|Barkley break to benefit Everton - Jones|
|Bilic proud of Besiktas achievements following his final game in charge|
|Vietto encourages Atletico bid|
|Di Santo in demand, claims agent|
|Arteta: Arsenal harbour high ambitions for next season|
|Wilmots considering Schalke offer|
|McCall: Rangers need a miracle|
|Sporting Kansas City 4 Dallas 0: Nemeth, Zusi destroy 10-man visitors|
|Geferson replaces Marcelo for Copa America|
|PSG captain Silva in doubt for Coupe de France final|
|Valverde: Bilbao to stick to style in Copa final|
|Youngsters promoted to Australia´s squad to face Kyrgyzstan|
|´Another round of indictments´ expected in FIFA case|
|Disappointed FFA, US Soccer still want change|
|Gutierrez: Ashley abandoned me|
|US senator urges Blatter to release Garcia Report|
|Gutierrez, Taylor released by Newcastle|
|Figo calls on re-elected Blatter to resign after ´dark day´ for football|
|Szczesny blasts father over ´idiotic´ comments|
|Blatter vows to leave ´strong´ FIFA|
|Blatter re-elected as FIFA president|
|BREAKING NEWS: FIFA elections set for second round of voting|
|Atsu wings in for Bournemouth campaign|
|Klopp: Pokal final not about me|
|Clement says Real goodbyes|
|Inter v Empoli: Icardi looking for final flourish|
|BREAKING NEWS: Blatter - I will fix FIFA|
|Northern Ireland v Qatar: O´Neill keen to prepare for Romania test|
|Palestine drop proposal for Israel suspension|
|Suarez will only get better, warns Iniesta|
|Martinez keen to recruit quickly|
|Monk keen to build on successful Swansea campaign|
|Fit-again Suarez set to aid Barca´s treble quest|
|Anonymous ´bomb´ threat received at FIFA Congress|
|Qatar organisers insist World Cup bid met ´highest ethical standards´|
|Wilkinson and Sorensen leave Stoke|
|Blatter: You can´t ask everyone to behave ethically just like that|
|Van Bronckhorst positive about Feyenoord future|
|Australian police to look into FFA-Warner dealings|
|Dardai signs Hertha deal|
|Protester interrupts FIFA Congress|
|Spurs complete Wimmer signing|
|Warner questions charges following release|
|Mexico v Guatemala: Herrera´s men kick off Copa preparations|
|New Zealand no longer supporting Blatter|
|´Post-World Cup trauma´ affected Mertesacker|
|Racing Club 0 Guarani 0 (0-1 agg): Draw sees Paraguayans through|
|Hamburg shocked by Karlsruher attack - Labbadia|
|Serie A Preview: Napoli, Lazio eye Champions League|
|Hodgson will not overstay England welcome|
|Scholes: United must keep Di Maria|
|Leyton Orient appoint Hendon|
|Benteke has a buy-out clause - Sherwood|
|US Soccer will support Prince Ali in FIFA election|
|Dynamo disappointed with officials after City friendly abandoned|
|Calls for Suarez appeal gather momentum|
|Eredvisie Review: Vitesse denied by late Uth goal, NAC Breda boost survival hopes|
|Rangers 1 Motherwell 3: McCall´s men facing uphill struggle|
|Hamburg 1 Karlsruher 1: Bundesliga side escape with draw|
|Blatter vows to lead FIFA clear of trouble as corruption scandal rolls on|
|Bundesliga: Bayern Munich season review - League crown not enough to signal successful campaign|
|Genoa forced to wait for UEFA licence|
|Injured Cardozo out of Paraguay squad|
|CONCACAF provisionally dismisses Webb and Li|
|Klopp: Career highlights of a charismatic coach|
|Verona v Juventus: Ogbonna seeks strong Champions League warm-up|
|FA charges Demetriou over betting breaches|
|Atalanta v Milan: Inzaghi faces last chance to prove worth|
|King joins Bournemouth as QPR rebuild begins|
|Plymouth part ways with Sheridan|
|Hernandez banned for three matches|
|Chelsea star Fabregas has nose surgery|
|Blatter: More bad news may follow|
|Galliani hopeful over Ancelotti deal|
|Frontzeck to continue as Hannover coach|
|Tremmel released as Tate waves goodbye to Swansea|
|Arsenal v Aston Villa: Sherwood out to upset holders|
|UEFA open to boycott of World Cup - Platini|
|Porto activate release clause for Casemiro|
|Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona: Catalans seeking second leg of treble|
|Auxerre v Paris Saint-Germain: History beckons for Ligue 1 champions|
|Cole confirms West Ham departure|
|UEFA elect not to boycott FIFA Congress|
|Borussia Dortmund v Wolfsburg: Klopp aiming for triumphant farewell|
|Flamini hails Coquelin impact at Arsenal|
|South Africa deny wrongdoing in World Cup bid|
|Benitez confirms Napoli exit|
|McShane among six released by Hull|
|Cerci committed to Milan|
|West Ham expect Collins to return for pre-season|
|Real deny Pogba bid|
|Important to keep Chelsea squad together - Mourinho|
|Alonso: Gerrard was magic|
|Pochettino silent on Ings speculation|
|Visa threatens to ´reassess´ sponsorship amid FIFA scandal|
|Blatter skips FIFA Medical Conference|
|MLS Preview: Revs not out for revenge against Galaxy|
|MLS Review: Sounders go top in West, Timbers and Galaxy win|
|AFC stands by Blatter|
|Matheus ´alright´ after collapse - Markevych|
|Copa Libertadores Review: River, Inter through to semis|
|Signing Toni a ´long shot´ for Adelaide|
|Ramsey good enough for Barca - Coleman|
|Bacuna pushing for Benteke stay|
|Evans stunner settles City friendly in Toronto|
|Banega: Emery a great coach|
|Emery tight-lipped on Sevilla future|
|Argentina finalise Copa America squad|
|Nike issues statement following arrest of FIFA officials|