Twice former champions Lokomotiv Moscow moved up to fourth in the Russian Premier League with a 1-0 win over Kuban Krasnodar on Sunday.
The railway-backed side now trail league leaders CSKA Moscow by four points but are just one point adrift of Zenit St. Petersburg and Spartak Moscow, who share second spot.
Lokomotiv and Kuban both missed a hatful of chances before the hosts' fullback Dmitry Tarasov scored his team's winner with a close-range header from a well-served corner by Alexander Samedov three minutes after the break.
Lokomotiv manager Leonid Kuchuk said it had been hard to manage his players' physical condition straight after the international break.
"It was a really hard match which was decided by a single moment. Luckily, we managed to score and won the game," he said.
Another former two-time champions Rubin Kazan stumbled to a 0-0 draw at ten-man Amkar.
Kazan twice had the ball in the net but the first strike was ruled out for offside and the second for a foul.
After the break Amkar moved up a gear, pinning Rubin back, but failed to find the net while defender Andrei Semenov was sent off for a second bookable offence with six minutes to go.
Rubin failed to convert their one-man advantage into the winning goal.
Meanwhile, Tomsk, who are rock bottom, chalked up their first point of the season in a 2-2 draw with visitors Anzhi Makhachkala, who are also still winless this season.