MOSCOW (AP) Russian league leader CSKA Moscow recovered from 3-0 down to beat Mordovia Saransk 6-4 on Sunday.
Down to 10 men away from home and facing its first defeat of the season, CSKA scored six times in 38 minutes in the second half, with Ivorian striker Seydou Doumbia netting two goals and setting up two more.
CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky said that at halftime he had threatened to force the entire team to play in an upcoming Russian Cup game against a lower-league team in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.
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”I said that if we don’t win, everyone flies to Irkutsk,” he said in televised comments. ”It was all very simple.”
Mordovia had raced into a three-goal lead by the 15-minute mark as CSKA’s defense fell apart. Making matters worse, Brazilian right back Mario Fernandes earned a red card for tripping Mordovia striker Ruslan Mukhametshin, who was through on goal.
CSKA pushed forward but failed to break down Mordovia in the rest of the first half. After the break, however, it was a different story. Substitute Kirill Panchenko reduced the gap to 3-1 before Mordovia was also reduced to 10 men as Portuguese striker Yannick Djalo earned his second yellow card.
Goals from Zoran Tosic and Doumbia made it 3-3, but Evgeny Lutsenko’s second goal restored Mordovia’s lead. A frantic last 10 minutes saw CSKA surge to victory, Ahmed Musa scoring twice in five minutes before Doumbia struck again with the Moscow team’s sixth.
With 10 goals the game was just one short of the Russian top-flight record, an 8-3 win by now-defunct Asmaral Moscow against Zenit St. Petersburg in 1992.
The result leaves CSKA with a five-point lead over Lokomotiv Moscow, which beat Krylya Sovetov Samara 2-0 thanks to goals from Vedran Corluka and Baye Oumar Niasse.
In third place, three points further back, is Zenit St. Petersburg, which could only manage a 1-1 draw with Amkar Perm. Artyom Dzyuba put Zenit in front in the 16th minute before Hulk missed a penalty in the 33rd minute. Zenit paid for that error when Amkar’s Chuma Anene leveled the game on 66 minutes.
Watching from the stands was Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas, who served the second game of his six-match ban for striking an official.
In other results this weekend, Kuban Krasnodar left the bottom spot with a 3-0 win over Spartak Moscow, Terek Grozny beat FC Ufa 4-1 and FC Rostov won 1-0 against Anzhi Makhachkala.