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Last-gasp goal from Shirokov gives Zenit win

Russian Federation,Sports, Sat, 03 Nov 2012 IANS

Moscow, Nov 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Roman Shirokov headed a crucial goal deep in stoppage time to give Zenit St. Petersburg all three points in a 2-1 win at home against lowly FC Rostov in the Russian Premier League football.

Zenit dominated the game but their hopes for a fourth straight win took a blow when Jan Holenda's 79th-minute equalizer pulled the visitors level, before Shirokov struck in the fourth minute of added time Friday night.

Zenit's late winner puts the reigning champions up to second in the Russian Premier League, level on points with leaders CSKA Moscow. Rostov stay a precarious 13th, two points above the relegation zone.

The St.Petersburg home crowd welcomed back two notable absentees as Igor Denisov came off the bench to end a six-week exile with the reserves after a fall-out with management, while Miguel Danny played his first game since a cruciate ligament injury in February.

Winger Vladimir Bystrov gave Zenit the lead on 51 minutes when he embarked on a mazy run and played a one-two with Alexander Kerzhakov before smacking the ball in off Stipe Pletikosa's post.

Holenda has been a consistent aerial threat all season and he charged onto an Edgaras Cesnauskis cross on 79 minutes for his seventh goal in 14 league games.

Danny showed his worth for Zenit when he sent in the left-wing cross for Shirokov to head in the winner as the ball eluded four Rostov defenders.

Earlier, Shirokov had been guilty of missing a good chance in the first half when the otherwise impressive Pletikosa parried an Axel Witsel cross into his path, which Shirokov miskicked.

Witsel could have made Zenit's position more secure when he hit the crossbar himself in the second half, shortly before Holenda's goal.

Rostov's Czech striker could have given his all three points when he had the ball in a good position in stoppage time, but the alert Denisov stepped in to take the ball away.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

abr/mr



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