Zenit St. Petersburg will carry a slim 1-0 advantage over Dennis Oliech"s Auxerre into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off matches.
In a match played yesterday in Russia, Zenit took an early lead from Aleksandr Kerzhakov who met a Danko Lazovic cross to put the Russians ahead inside 3 minutes of the match.
a return to the Champions League group stage
Auxerre slowly found their way back into the match and went close to an equalizer when Oliech"s dinking shot from the edge of the area beat Zenit keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev only to be denied by the cross-bar.
Ireneusz Jelen twice went close but Zenit held on to claim the slender advantage. The return leg will be played in a weeks time where Auxerre will hope to make a return to the Champions League group stages after an 8 year absence.
The game was historic for Oliech as he becomes only the second known Kenyan after Mcdonald Mariga to feature in the prestigious Champions League.