A double by French striker Djibril Cisse helped Kuban Krasnodar up to sixth in the Russian Premier League table with a 3-2 home win over newly-promoted Ural Yekaterinburg on Sunday. Midfielder Arsen Khubulov put the hosts 1-0 up in the eighth minute but Ural fullback Alexander Yerokhin levelled the scores just five minutes later.
Cisse put Kuban back in front from the spot with his maiden goal in the Russian league, after Serbian Milan Vjestica had handled in the penalty area. But Ural's Chilean midfielder Gerson Acevedo levelled again in the 35th minute, also with a penalty, after Alexander Shanitsyn was fouled in the box.
Cisse, however, grabbed Kuban's winning goal two minutes before the break, shooting home from the edge of the six-yard box from fellow Frenchman Charles Kabore's pass. Kuban now have nine points from six matches, five points behind leaders CSKA Moscow.
Earlier on Sunday, two-time former champions Rubin Kazan missed the chance to close in on the leaders, or hand manager Kurban Berdyev a 61st birthday present, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Samara.
Rubin took the lead in the tenth minute when their Turkish skipper Karadeniz Gokdeniz headed over goalkeeper Sergei Veremko from nine yards from Frenchman Yann M'Vila's pass. In the 39th minute Samara were awarded a penalty after Spanish defender Cecar Navas handled in the area, only for goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov to deny Belgian defender Reginal Goreux from 12 yards.
However, Samara levelled in first half injury time through midfielder Ibragim Tsallagov with a carbon copy of Gokdeniz's effort.
Berdyev refused to blame Rubin's midweek UEFA Europa League commitments for their disappointing showing.
"We were not fresh enough after Thursday's Europa League match," Berdyev said. "But we still shouldn't have dropped two points."