Zenit tops Benfica, takes step toward Champions League knockout stage
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — A goal from Danny gave Zenit St. Petersburg a 1-0 win over Benfica Wednesday, giving a huge boost to the Russian team's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Danny struck in the 79th minute with a calm finish off an elegant curling cross from Hulk.
Benfica had the better of the chances until then, with Eduardo Salvio shooting straight at Zenit goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin in the 18th and Luisao missing the target from close range five minutes into the second half.
Benfica captain Luisao was sent off in stoppage time, earning his second booking for a foul on Oleg Shatov.
The win moves Zenit to second in Group C behind Bayer Leverkusen, while fourth-placed Benfica's hopes of qualifying will end if Monaco beats Leverkusen later.