New Russia coach Slutsky gets league win with CSKA
MOSCOW (AP) — Newly appointed Russia coach Leonid Slutsky earned a win with CSKA Moscow on Sunday as he began combining duties for club and country.
Slutsky was named Russia boss on Friday with a short-term contract and a mission to rescue the 2018 World Cup host’s floundering campaign in qualifying for next year’s European championship.
The deal allows Slutsky to keep working with CSKA, where he won the 2013 and 2014 Russian Premier League titles, and he kept up a winning start to the season Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Amkar Perm.
Except for a brief statement on CSKA’s website, Slutsky has not discussed his Russia appointment and kept that up after the win.
“At the moment, I’m with the club and because of that all my efforts are on each game,” he told Russian media, saying he would only discuss national team business from Aug. 30, six days before his debut in a crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Sweden.
CSKA’s win against Amkar was routine business, with the Moscow team taking the lead on two minutes when a handball from Amkar defender Ivan Cherenchikov allowed Bibras Natkho to score from the resulting penalty.
Serbian winger Zoran Tosic made it 2-0 with a floated finish from the edge of the box after neat footwork to beat three Amkar defenders.
CSKA fans reportedly shouted abuse at the Russian Football Union, which earlier in the week ordered a partial stadium closure for a future CSKA game following fan abuse of ethnic minority groups from the Caucasus region.
The win puts CSKA joint top of the league with Zenit St. Petersburg. Both teams have won all four of their games this season so far, with Zenit’s latest three points coming in a 1-0 victory over FC Ufa on Sunday.
Zenit could not break through the Ufa defense until the 86th minute, when Ufa goalkeeper David Yurchenko spilled a shot by Hulk, allowing Miguel Danny to score on the rebound.
Lokomotiv Moscow sits third, two points behind the top two, after beating Ural Yekaterinburg 3-1 on Saturday.
In other games, financially troubled Dynamo Moscow defeated Anzhi Makhachkala 3-2 on Saturday to pick up its first win of the season, while Friday saw a 0-0 draw between Terek Grozny and Mordovia Saransk.