Zenit extends lead in Russia as CSKA stumbles
MOSCOW (AP) — Zenit St. Petersburg moved closer to the Russian Premier League title on Wednesday, beating Terek Grozny 2-1 to open up a 10-point lead after reigning champion CSKA Moscow fell to defeat.
Zenit came from a goal down to beat a stubborn opponent in Chechnya, with Jose Salomon Rondon scoring the 58th-minute winner with a shot on the rebound after Oleg Shatov had leveled for the St. Petersburg side.
CSKA had dropped to third after FC Krasnodar’s 2-1 win over Rubin Kazan on Tuesday and proved unable to regain second place, losing 2-1 to fourth-placed Dynamo Moscow.
Alexei Ionov put Dynamo ahead on nine minutes, getting in behind a disorganized CSKA defense to round goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and score. CSKA’s Georgy Milanov equalized with a curling free-kick six minutes later before Balazs Dzsudzsak scored Dynamo’s second, bending a shot past Akinfeev from range.
Zoran Tosic cracked a shot off the bar in stoppage time as CSKA chased a leveler.
With eight games to go, Wednesday’s results leave Zenit with a commanding lead over Krasnodar, which is vying to qualify for the Champions League for the first time and occupies the second of two qualifying positions.
In other results, Lokomotiv Moscow won 2-0 against Torpedo Moscow. Torpedo was highlighted earlier in the day by FIFA President Sepp Blatter as an example of the work Russia still has to do to combat racism ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Torpedo has received four racism-related punishments this season, most recently after fans displayed a Nazi symbol at a game Sunday.
Ural Yekaterinburg boosted its survival hopes with a 2-0 win over Kuban Krasnodar, while on Tuesday Mordovia Saransk beat Amkar Perm 1-0.