advantage zenit after nordsjælland triumph published: tuesday 30 july 2013, 21.30cet
fc nordsjælland 0-1 fc zenit st petersburg
substitute aleksandr kerzhakov struck the only goal of the game in the second half in farum to edge the russian club ahead in the the tie.
by nicklas vinde mathiassen from farum park
aleksandr kerzhakov scored just four minutes after his half-time introduction to secure the win for fc zenit st petersburg in farum, leaving fc nordsjælland up against it ahead of next week's return in russia.
both contenders were in the group stage last season, though luciano spalletti's side now seem the more likely to reproduce that showing this term thanks to kerzhakov's intervention in denmark. the hosts stuck rigidly to their passing, possession-based game, but were unable to find an equaliser to take into next wednesday's return.
it was home keeper martin hansen who was the busier of the two custodians in the first period as andrey arshavin and hulk tested him out with a series of efforts. arshavin proved particularly dangerous, threatening the nordsjælland defence with a number of slaloming runs.
the former arsenal fc man was unable to find the breakthrough, however, and was replaced by kerzhakov at the interval. spalletti was vindicated shortly after as the substitute provided the finishing touch to a devastating counterattack to clinch a potentially crucial away goal.
the hosts came back into it and tested out yuri lodygin through mario tičinović and kim aabech, while jens stryger larsen missed the target with a good effort. zenit proved the stronger side in the end, though, and finished with a deserved lead to take back to st petersburg.
yardımcı hakemler: amihay yehoshua mozes (isr), abed alramili (isr)
4. hakem: liran wachsberger (isr)
nordsjælland: martin hansen (gk), michael jakobsen, anders christiansen (dk. 62 morten nordstrand), nicolai stokholm (c), patrick mtiliga, martin vingaard, jens stryger larsen, ivan runje, mario tičinović (dk. 77 kim aabech), pascal gregor, oliver thychosen (dk. 82 emiliano hansen)
yedekler: jesper hansen (gk), mark gundelach, andreas maxsø, nicolai johannesen
teknik direktör: kasper hjulmand (den)
zenit: yuri lodygin (gk), nicolas lombaerts, danny (dk. 90 vladimir bystrov), luís neto, tomáš hubočan, konstantin zyryanov (c), viktor fayzulin, andrey arshavin (dk. 46 aleksandr kerzhakov), axel witsel, hulk (dk. 83 aleksandar luković), anatoliy tymoshchuk
yedekler: egor baburin (gk), milan rodić, dzhamaldin khodzhaniyazov, luka djordjević
teknik direktör: luciano spalletti (ita)
goller: 0-1 aleksandr kerzhakov dk. 49
sarı kartlar: dk. 58 patrick mtiliga (nordsjælland) dk. 64 luís neto (zenit)