Georgy Schennikov's first-half strike and a Jardel own goal earned CSKA Moscow a 2-0 win over Benfica on Wednesday, keeping the Russian side's hopes of Champions League progression alive.
With nine points on the board, CSKA travel to Old Trafford next month to take on Group A leaders Manchester United knowing their fate is in their own hands, although they will be without key players Bibras Natcho and Pontus Wernbloom through suspension.
Benfica's rotten campaign continues with another defeat and the Portuguese side are guaranteed to finish bottom of the pool, having been beaten in all five of their games, scoring just one goal, after suffering the ignominy of having CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev record his first clean sheet in the Champions League proper since November 2006 - 43 appearances ago - against them.
After losing their previous two Champions League home games, CSKA were desperate for an improved performance in front of their own fans at VEB Arena and they opened the scoring after 13 minutes.
A deflection off Benfica defender Eliseu fell kindly for Natcho to slot a pass through to Schennikov, who finished well but may have been offside when the ball was played.
Another ricochet gave CSKA their decisive second goal, Vitinho's attempted cross turned into his own goal by unlucky Benfica centre-back Jardel, whose side exit Europe entirely as a result of their latest loss.
CSKA had a golden opportunity in the fourth minute when Wernbloom laid the ball off for Vitinho, but his placed 20-yard strike bent well wide of the post.
Sustained pressure from the Russian side soon led to the opener, Natcho slipping in Schennikov to compose himself and beat Bruno Varela, although the rampaging wing-back may have been marginally offside.
Benfica should have equalised immediately, a cute header back into the box from Diogo Goncalves finding an unmarked Jonas, who cushioned a presentable volley well wide.
But it was CSKA who continued to make the running, Varela making a superb save to his left to keep out a fizzing half-volley from Alan Dzagoev after 26 minutes.
Benfica's first shot on target came just before the interval via Eliseu's hopeful 30-yard drive, but Akinfeev made a comfortable save.
Wernbloom wasted a great chance to tee up Dzagoev after 54 minutes, with CSKA beginning to feel the pressure, before Akinfeev had to make a decent stop to deny Andre Almeida.
And CSKA then wrapped up the points thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Jardel.
The defender lunged in to try and block a cross from Vitinho, but could only turn the ball past the helpless Varela.
CSKA should have extended their lead further, but Vitinho lashed into the side netting from a tight angle after 66 minutes with Dzagoev well-placed for a pass in the middle of the box.
Although Benfica coach Rui Vitoria made a raft of attacking changes, his side were resigned to their fate and Russia international Akinfeev was left virtually untested as he ended his 11-year wait for a Champions League shutout.
CLEAN SHEET!— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) November 22, 2017
Igor Akinfeev has kept his first Champions League clean sheet (not including qualifiers) since 1st November 2006 against Arsenal - ending a run of 43 games without one! Via @OptaJoe.#CSKA #UCL pic.twitter.com/zGcTkqkO82
|Oladipo´s career performance keeps Pacers rolling|
|De Bruyne: Man City have to enjoy derby victory|
|Suspended Smith-Schuster watches on in Steelers helmet|
|Bancroft and Warner ´kissed and made up´ after Adelaide mix up|
|There is no-one like Messi – Alcacer|
|Pederson unwilling to comment on Wentz amid ACL fears|
|Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League|
|Neville: Lukaku needs to believe amid Man United struggles|
|Fitzgerald now third all time in receiving yards|
|Eagles QB Wentz suffers knee injury|
|Messi best player of all time – Rakitic|
|Gattuso: I´m even tense playing football with my son|
|Suarez admits Villarreal red swung it for Barcelona|
|Villarreal win ´crucial´ for Barcelona boss Valverde|
|O´Hair and Stricker claim QBE Shootout crown|
|Sublime O´Sullivan equals major record with sixth UK Championship win|
|Villarreal 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez, Messi restore five-point LaLiga lead|
|AC Milan 2 Bologna 1: Bonaventura brace breaks Gattuso´s duck|
|Leinster end Exeter home streak, La Rochelle shine again|
|Texans QB Savage suffers concussion; brief return sparks controversy|
|Guardiola: Man City are an honest team|
|Snow joke! Bills and Colts play in brutal blizzard|
|Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in derby defeat|
|Mourinho admits title race ´probably´ over|
|Josh Gordon scores first touchdown in four years|
|Simeone defends Atleti´s style after battling win over Betis|
|Manchester City´s 14th win on the spin sets new top-flight record|
|Manchester United 1 Manchester City 2: Otamendi strikes massive blow in Premier League title race|
|Bath concerned by injury to Wales forward Faletau|
|Allardyce praises ´brave´ Pawson after penalty decision|
|Atletico Madrid set club-record unbeaten run in LaLiga|
|Ajax 3 PSV 0: Eredivisie title race gets new lease of life|
|Klopp involved in post-match spat with reporter|
|Rooney backs awarding of ´clear penalty´|
|Mathews heaps praise on Lakmal as Sri Lanka end losing streak|
|Real Betis 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Rojiblancos make history to assuage Champions League pain|
|Klopp rages at referee after late penalty denies Liverpool|
|Shubhankar made to wait by weather|
|Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Late Rooney penalty secures unlikely derby draw|
|Napoli 0 Fiorentina 0: Sarri´s men miss chance to usurp Inter|
|Shakib returns as Bangladesh captain to replace Mushfiqur|
|Martial and Rashford both start Manchester derby as Jesus edges out Aguero|
|Joshua-Parker ´close to being locked in´|
|Neuer in no doubt over World Cup fitness|
|Wenger labels Saints sinners over time-wasting|
|Super-sub Giroud celebrates being Arsenal´s saviour again|
|Moeen aware England players must improve behaviour|
|Duckett handed maximum fine & suspended from England Lions|
|Southampton 1 Arsenal 1: Super-sub Giroud rescues last-gasp point|
|Firmino and Coutinho on bench for Merseyside derby|
|There´s snow rugby for Saracens as Clermont clash called off|
|Stoger ready to grab ´incredible opportunity´ at Dortmund|
|Career best for Lakmal in Sri Lanka rout|
|Boult: No need for four-day Test matches|
|Courtois keen to resolve Chelsea future|
|Borussia Dortmund sack Bosz, bring in Stoger|
|Moeen makes some strides as Curran impresses|
|Melbourne City 1 Central Coast Mariners 0: McCormack eases Cahill blues|
|Rigondeaux victory not a big win for ´superhuman´ Lomachenko|
|Dortmund to hold news conference with Bosz on the brink|
|Guardiola: I would retire if possession football did not work|
|Black Caps take control in Hamilton|
|LeBron leads shorthanded Cavaliers past 76ers|
|Stokes out for duck as England all-rounder continues to struggle|
|Lomachenko beats Rigondeaux by TKO to retain title|
|There´s no comparison, Ronaldo is best – Marcelo|
|Beal, Wizards seething after ´tough s***´ loss to Clippers|
|Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy|
|Bradley revels in ´dream´ MLS Cup success|
|Valverde unsure about Mascherano future|