Soccer: Betar impresses in defeat of CSKA Moscow

Wins 1-0 at Teddy Stadium through a 74th minute Amit Ben-Shushan strike..

By JEREMY LAST
January 30, 2008 06:49
3 minute read.
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On a freezing cold night in the capital, Betar Jerusalem surprisingly defeated Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow 1-0 at Teddy Stadium through a 74th minute Amit Ben-Shushan strike. The performance wiped away memories of last week's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk. The Israeli champion may be concentrating on its local campaign, where it is heading towards a second successive title, but Tuesday night's Channel One Cup match with CSKA provided ample distraction before its league game against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday. With a warning of impending snow in the city, the game was moved forward two hours to 6 p.m., leaving the stadium practically empty and the match played in close to freezing temperatures. Both teams had already lost to Donetsk earlier in the tournament, meaning that Tuesday's match up was a dead rubber with no real significance, as the Ukranian side had already guaranteed its place in Thursday's final against Dinamo Kiev. Dinamo had edged Spartak Moscow to top Group B, although Spartak had impressed on Monday with a 5-2 demolition of Serbia's Red Star Belgrade. But, despite the cold conditions and the lack of a chance to win the $1 million prize Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has put on offer for the tournament victor, Betar and CSKA put on an entertaining show for the small audience which included Abramovich himself as well as Betar owner Arkadi Gaydamak. The Russian pair spent the entire game in the VIP box watching through a glass window. In his third game for Betar since arriving just over a week ago, the club's new Peruvian striker Cesar Junior Viza showed off some of the skills which made the 22-year-old hot property a few years ago. After a slow opening quarter of an hour the game burst into life when CSKA's Milos Krasic went on the first of many startlingly quick runs deep into the Betar penalty box. The change of pace fooled Tomer Ben-Yosef in the home team's defense but Shimon Gershon managed to clear the ball for a corner at the last second. At the other end Aviram Bruchian showed his intent two minutes later when he broke forward in the center of the pitch and unleashed a storming shot from 25 meters out which just sailed over the cross bar of Veniamin Madrykin in the CSKA goal. Brazilian international Wagner Love came on for Moscow at half time and his mere presence on the pitch heightened the crowd's expectations. However the striker, who sported his famous beaded haircut, appeared off the pace for much of the 45 minutes and it was left to fellow Brazilian Dudu to steal the show with some quality moments including a thunderous powerdrive from inside the area on 60 minutes which forced a top-class save from Betar's reserve goalkeeper Sagi Strauss. With 20 minutes to go Jerusalem coach Itzhak Schum made a triple substitution which included the introduction of Toto Tamuz as well as Ben-Shushan. Tamuz was making his first appearance for the club since serving a week-long ban enforced by the club after he criticized Schum in the media for substituting him against Ashdod SC. Tamuz nearly put his bad week behind him when right back Crisitian Alvarez sent in an inviting looping cross only to see his header fly achingly wide of the goal. However, he made amends in the 76th minute when he sent in a ball from the left hand side which Ben-Shushan fired in from close range to put the Israeli champion 1-0 up. CSKA tried to come back into the game but its efforts proved worthless as it wound down to a finish and a famous victory for the home team. The result left Betar second in Group A and CSKA in last place.


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