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Krasnodar closes in on Zenit in Russian league

November 30, 2014

MOSCOW (AP) — FC Krasnodar strengthened its surprising bid for the Russian league title with a 1-0 win over Terek Grozny on Sunday following a loss for leader Zenit St. Petersburg.

Krasnodar, a club founded in 2008 which has never finished higher than fifth in the league, now sits second behind Zenit at the halfway point of the 30-game season.

The St. Petersburg club leads by five points, its lead cut by three following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Mordovia Saransk.

Oleg Vlasov gave Mordovia the win with a 28th-minute goal, seizing on a mistake by Zenit’s Ezequiel Garay and beating two defenders before scoring with a calm finish. Unbeaten in the Russian league until this month, Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit has now lost two of its last three league matches.

Krasnodar, which holds the second of the two Champions League places, took the win over Terek in Chechnya thanks to Brazilian striker Wanderson, who scored an 18th-minute goal from an incisive through ball from Marat Izmailov.

In third place, two points behind Krasnodar, is reigning champion CSKA Moscow, which stormed to a 5-0 win over FC Ufa on Saturday, helped by two goals from Serbian winger Zoran Tosic.

A further two points behind CSKA are Dynamo Moscow, which drew 1-1 with Rubin Kazan on Sunday, and Lokomotiv Moscow, which won 1-0 against capital city rival Spartak Moscow.

In other results, Torpedo Moscow moved out of the relegation zone to 14th with a 1-1 draw with seventh-placed Kuban Krasnodar. Relegation-threatened FC Rostov drew 1-1 with Amkar Perm and there was a 2-1 win for Ural Yekaterinburg over last-placed Arsenal Tula.

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