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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spartak Frustrates Karlsruhe For 0-0 Draw in Germany


KARLSRUHE, Germany -- Two brilliant saves by goalkeeper Alexander Filimonov helped Spartak Moscow to a goalless draw at German side Karlsruhe SC in a UEFA Cup third-round first-leg match.

Karlsruhe, which was crushed 3-0 by VfB Stuttgart on Saturday to drop one place to 16th in the 18-strong Bundesliga, came close to scoring in the ninth minute Tuesday when defender Bernhard Reich hit the post.

The home side wasted another opportunity in the 65th minute when Filimonov blocked a volley from South African-born striker Sean Dundee.

Reich, beautifully set up by international playmaker Thomas Haessler, tried his luck again from just inside the penalty area in the 76th minute, but the Spartak goalkeeper dived to deprive him of a goal.

With just three minutes remaining, Dundee failed to exploit a blunder in the visitors' defense. He found himself alone in front of Filimonov, but his shot went just wide.

Unfortunately for millions of Russian soccer fans, the Spartak-Karlsruhe match was not shown on any of the country's six television channels.

After a war of words between the two largest Russian networks, ORT and NTV, over which one should have the right to show the game, in the end neither channel did.

"It's a pity that Spartak Moscow can't get itself on any Russian TV channel," said club spokesman Alexander Lvov. "Anywhere else in Europe such an attitude by the networks would get an immediate response from the government. NTV, for example, paid millions of dollars for the Champions' League TV rights, but it couldn't find a mere $100,000 to show Russia's most popular team."