Benfica bowed out of European competition with a 2-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow at the VEB Arena on Wednesday night, in what was their penultimate match in Champions League Group A.
Georgi Shchennikov put Viktor Goncharenko’s side in front in the 13th minute, before a second-half own-goal from Jardel sealed the victory for the Russians and condemned the Eagles to an early exit from Europe.
The hosts started well and went close to taking the lead in the third minute when Pontus Wernbloom teed-up Vitinho, who fired just wide of the post.
Ten minutes later, the hosts controversially took the lead when Shchennikov - who appeared to be marginally offside - slotted home after being picked out inside the penalty area by Bibras Natkho.
The Encarnados should have drawn level shortly afterwards, when Diogo Gonçalves nodded Eduardo Salvio’s lobbed pass back into the path of Jonas, but the Brazilian somehow shot wide from close range.
In the 25th minute, the Russians almost doubled their lead when Luisão’s misplaced clearance from a Vitinho cross fell to Alan Dzagoev, whose volley was brilliantly palmed away by Bruno Varela.
Nine minutes after the restart, Benfica had a good chance to equalise when Filipe Augusto found André Almeida on the edge of the area, but his tame effort was saved well by Igor Akinfeev.
CSKA then extended their advantage when Vitinho latched onto Mário Fernandes’ pass before firing in an effort from a tight angle, which ricocheted off Jardel and found the back of the net.
The hosts saw out the game in relative comfort, with Russian international goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev keeping his first clean sheet in 44 UEFA Champions League matches, a barren run spanning 11 years.
With Basel also victorious on Wednesday night, the Swiss side sit joint-second with CSKA on nine points, while Benfica, still without a point, surrendered their chances of reaching both the Champions League knockout stages and the Europa League.
Benfica: Bruno Varela, André Almeida, Luisão, Jardel, Eliseu (Živković 83'), Salvio, Pizzi, Fejsa, Filipe Augusto (Raúl 57'), Diogo Gonçalves (Cervi 46'), Jonas
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev, Berezutski, Vasin, Ignashevich, Fernandes, Natkho, Golovin, Schennikov (Nababkin 50'), Vitinho (Kuchaev 77'), Wernbloom, Dzagoev (Gordyushenko 84')
Goals: Shchennikov (13'), Jardel (o.g. 56')