Olympiakos Pireaus has taken a giant leap towards qualifying for the Europa League’s round of 16 by beating Rubin Kazan 1-0 away on Tuesday.

Besides the fierce cold (the temperature at -12 Celsius at kickoff) the Reds also suffered the loss of their most experienced player, defender Olof Mellberg, to injury in the first half, as well as having to play for almost 20 minutes with 10 men and being threatened by a penalty kick, which substitute goalkeeper Roy Carroll saved. David Fuster put the visitors ahead in the 71st minute with a rising shot after the Rubin defence failed to clear a corner.

The enthusiasm generated by the away goal vanished moments later when a great through-ball split the Olympiakos defence and sent Gokdeniz Karadeniz clear with only keeper Balazs Megyeri to beat. The Reds’ keeper brought the Turk international down, conceding a penalty.