Defending champions CSKA Moscow defeated visitors Rubin Kazan 2-1 on Sunday to keep their chances of retaining the title alive as well as keeping the pressure on the Russian leaders.The Red Army, who recorded their seventh consecutive win, have now picked up 55 points from 27 matches to close within four points of table-toppers Zenit St Petersburg.
CSKA completely dominated play during the first half but could only find the target once when midfielder Alan Dzagoev fired the ball into the net from just inside the box. Two minutes after the interval Rubin forward Alexander Prudnikov pulled the scores level with an unopposed shot from ten yards out.
But in the 53rd minute, Ivorian forward Seydou Doumbia netted CSKA's winner scoring his 16th goal of the season with a precise spot-kick after he had been fouled him in the area.
"The match was really hard but luckily we managed to win it," CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said. "But we should have scored a few more goals before the break to avoid the nervous ending. Rubin are a very well-organised team of skilled footballers. They seized the opportunity and pulled back to level but we managed to score the winning goal. Now we shall concentrate completely on our next match with Amkar Perm, which we also need to win."
Terek down Dinamo
Elsewhere, Dinamo Moscow suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the hosts Terek Grozny, which has effectively dashed the Muscovites' chances of finishing in the league's top three. Terek's Brazilian midfielder Mauricio was the hero of the match as he netted his side's winner firing into the top left-handed corner from the edge of the area in the 54th minute.
In the day's other game, bottom side Anzhi Makhachkala grabbed an 80th minute equaliser through Diniyar Bilyaletdinov after Artem Dzyuba had given Rostov the lead. The hosts finished the game with nine men, after Alexandru Gatcan and Florent Sinama-Pongolle saw red.