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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CSKA Moscow Held by Battling Maccabi Haifa

ReutersSharapova donating $100,000 to Chernobyl aid projects on Wednesday. She was made a UN Goodwill Ambassador.
VLADIKAVKAZ -- Former champion CSKA was left feeling homesick after failing to break down stubborn Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Cup first knockout round Wednesday.

The 2005 champion switched the first leg to Vladikavkaz in the volatile Caucasus region near Chechnya, about 1,500 kilometers south of Moscow because of freezing temperatures, but the move failed to pay off as the Muscovites drew 0-0.

The Russian champion, missing Brazilian striker Vagner Love though injury, controlled the tempo for much of the game, but it was Maccabi that had the best chances initially.

Yaniv Katan hit the post from close range and Argentina-born Israeli international Roberto Colautti just missed the far post in the opening 20 minutes.

At the other end, Brazilian striker Jo, CSKA's top scorer last year, failed with his best chance in the first half.

After the break, CSKA substitute Daniel Carvalho missed the target with a 20-meter free kick while fellow Brazil international Dudu headed a shot over the bar.

"It was not one of our best matches to say the least," CSKA coach Valery Gazzayev lamented.

"We were making too many defensive mistakes tonight. Two of those mistakes could have even cost us dearly as they had two excellent chances to score."

Maccabi coach Roni Levi was happy with the draw, saying: "0-0 is a great result for us. Now everything should be decided in the second leg in Tel Aviv."

The match was played amid tight security, with thousands of riot police employed in and around the Spartak stadium in addition to Russia's special anti-terrorist units, who were guarding the Israelis during their entire stay in the region.

The return leg will be played in Tel Aviv next Thursday.