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Mujiri magic sets up CSKA

Thursday, 26 August 2004

By Stoyan Georgiev at the Balgarska Armia stadium

[1] A 90th-minute goal from Amiran Mujiri rescued PFC CSKA Sofia and paved the way for their extra-time victory against AC Omonia in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

Mujiri magic

[2] After a fisrt leg which had ended 1-1 in Cyprus, the visitors looked to be heading into Friday's first-round draw once Zoran Stjepanovic had given them a 78th-minute lead on the night. But Mujiri levelled the scores with seconds left to force extra time, during which the home side scored twice through Stoyko Sakaliev and Kostandin Hazurof to seal their win.

Ivanov important

[3] CSKA had almost made a flying start after just 35 seconds when Sakaliev's shot was somehow cleared off the Omonia goalline. But gradually the visitors took control of the game and only CSKA goalkeeper Ivailo Ivanov prevented them from taking the lead by pulling off a string of good saves.

Vezer beaten

[4] Substitute Stjepanovic finally gave Omonia the lead 12 minutes from time but CSKA coach Ferario Spasov reacted quickly, throwing on Georgian midfield player Mujiri and Senegalese Mansur Ayanda. The switch paid off as Mujiri followed up his first-leg goal with the late leveller, giving Adam Vezer no chance from just outside the area.

Extra-time goals

[5] CSKA dominated extra time, Sakaliev's half-volley from Yordan Todorov's 110th-minute cross putting them ahead for the first time in the tie before Hazurov put the tie beyond doubt with a close-range finish six minutes later.

'Seconds away'

[6] Disheartened Omonia coach Franciczec Smuda said: "It is always hard to accept such a defeat. I blame no one. We fought and worked hard and we were just seconds away from the victory. We tried everything and I am proud of our display."

Stoyko Sakaliev was on target for CSKA