MOSCOW (Reuters) – Holders Real Madrid and AS Roma reached the Champions League knockout stages before kicking a ball on Tuesday after CSKA Moscow lost 2-1 after suffering a late collapse at home to Viktoria Plzen in Group G.
CSKA had to win to have any chance of reeling in the top two, who both have nine points and meet later on Tuesday in Rome, and took the lead after 10 minutes with a Nikola Vasic penalty after Lukas Hedja had tripped Georgi Shchennikov.
The Russian defender then conceded a penalty at the other end just before halftime for a foul on Radim Reznik. However, Russia’s World Cup goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev dived to his right to save Roman Prochazka’s weak effort.
Prochazka made up for that miss by beating Akinfeev with a miscued finish into the top right corner 10 minutes after the break before Hedja got redemption of his own by heading in a cross from Patrik Hrosovsky to complete Plzen’s comeback.
CSKA’s first defeat by Czech opposition at home meant that Plzen join them on four points in the group, intensifying the battle for third place and a Europa League spot.