Zenit enter Russian Cup semis on penalties

St. Petersburg, April 18 (IANS) Defending Russian Premier League Champions FC Zenit St. Petersburg have overcome FC Kuban Krasnodar 4-3 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes to advance to the semifinals of the knockout Russian Cup.

Zenit striker Alexander Kerzhakov struck the post in an otherwise lacklustre first half despite vocal support from the local St. Petersburg crowd, reports Xinhua.

Although Zenit continued to hold the upper hand after half-time, both sides failed to convert multiple chances to clinch victory in the remaining 75 minutes of the quarter-final clash.

Zenit captain and goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malefeev finally came to the rescue of his heavily favoured team with three excellent saves during the deciding penalty shootout.

Sergey Semak, the most capped footballer in Russian football history, then coolly converted the deciding penalty to put Zenit in the semifinals, where they will face new Dagestani heavyweights Anzhi Makhachkala.

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