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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 21:50 GMT
Aberdeen 1-1 Lokomotiv Moscow
By Clive Lindsay

Zander Diamond (right) celebrates his goal with Andrew Considine
Zander Diamond (right) opened the scoring for Aberdeen
Aberdeen's hopes of qualifying from Uefa Cup Group B suffered a blow after they were held to a draw at home by a dangerous Lokomotiv Moscow side.

Lee Miller had already missed a golden opportunity before Zander Diamond headed home for the Dons after 27 minutes at a wintry Pittodrie.

But Dmitri Sychev struck the post as Lokomotiv hit back and Branislav Ivanovic headed in after 45 minutes.

And both sides failed to create clear-cut chances after the break.

Dons manager Jimmy Calderwood had made five changes despite his young replacements having recorded a fine victory over Dundee United at the weekend.

Diamond, Scott Severin, Chris Clark and Richard Foster returned from injury, while Miller won a starting place up front along with Sone Aluko after their goals on Saturday.

Chris Maguire, Jeffrey de Visscher, Richie Byrne and Karim Touzani dropped to the bench, while Lee Mair missed out.

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Lokomotiv are struggling in seventh place in the Russian league but fielded a team of full internationals, including defender Ivanovic and Russia midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who have both been linked with Chelsea.

The Dons felt they needed a win after their 3-0 defeat by Panathinaikos and showed their attacking intentions from the start, with Aluko sending an 18-yard drive over the bar.

But Lokomotiv were also desperate to pick up points after drawing at home to Atletico Madrid and Sychev stung the fingers of goalkeeper Jamie Langfield from 20 yards.

The Dons missed a great chance to go ahead after 22 minutes when Scott Severin's superb ball gave Aluko room to cross.

And, when goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli failed to hold, Miller should have found the net but sent his powerful half-volley a couple of feet wide.

Branislav Ivanovic (left) celebrates his equaliser for Lokomotiv
Branislav Ivanovic (left) equalised for Lokomotiv

Lokomotiv continued to be dangerous and Langfield had to turn a Peter Odemwingie free-kick over for a corner from which Miller had to clear off his own goalline from a Sychev header.

Aberdeen immediately won a corner at the other end and Diamond nodded the ball powerfully home from 10 yards.

Lokomotiv responded with some sustained pressure, aided by the strong wind and snow at their backs.

Bilyaletdinov fired just over from 20 yards and a low Sychev effort struck the outside of the post from just inside the box after the Dons defence was carved open.

The Dons weathered the storm until the last strike of the first half, Ivanovic heading home from six yards from Alexander Samedov's corner.

Aberdeen had the conditions in their favour after the break, but Lokomotiv had taken heart from their goal and Sychev and Dmitri Sennikov both quickly fired straight at Langfield after clever lead-up play.

The conditions were now giving Aberdeen territorial advantage and Lokomotiv were defending desperately to clear their lines against the strong wind as the Dons resorted to a long ball game.

But Lokomotiv were dangerous on the break and Langfield saved well with his feet to stop a deflected Bilyaletdinov drive as both sides were forced to settle for a point apiece.


Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Diamond, Considine, Foster, Clark (Maguire 66), Nicholson, Severin, Aluko (De Visscher 81), Miller (Lovell 85), Young.
Subs Not Used: Soutar, Byrne, McNamara, Touzani.

Goal: Diamond 27.

Lokomotiv Moscow: Pelizzoli, Ivanovic, Asatiani, Rodolfo, Sennikov, Spahic, Gurenko, Samedov (Cocis 79), Bilyaletdinov, Sychev, Odemwingie.
Subs Not Used: Polyakov, Maminov, Traore, Korchagin, Yanbaev, Efimov.

Booked: Spahic, Odemwingie, Asatiani.

Goal: Ivanovic 45.

Att: 18,843

Ref: Florian Meyer (Germany).



SEE ALSO
Calderwood feels draw like defeat
08 Nov 07 |  Aberdeen
Uefa Cup photos
08 Nov 07 |  Football
Uefa Cup as it happened
08 Nov 07 |  Europe


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