CSKA extends lead in Russia as Zenit fails to win
MOSCOW (AP) CSKA Moscow extended its unbeaten start to the Russian Premier League season to 15 games with a 2-0 home win over FC Ufa on Saturday, while reigning champion Zenit St. Petersburg missed out on a chance to snatch second place.
CSKA cruised to three points against relegation-threatened Ufa, with veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich giving the hosts the lead in the 21st minute from the penalty spot after Ufa defender Pavel Alikin handled a shot from Zoran Tosic in front of goal.
Tosic hit the target for CSKA’s second goal on 62 minutes, charging onto a layoff from Georgi Milanov to blast the ball past helpless goalkeeper Sergei Narubin.
The win leaves CSKA nine points clear at the top of the table, ahead of Lokomotiv Moscow, which faces a trip to underperforming 14th-place side Kuban Krasnodar on Sunday.
Zenit could have snatched second from Lokomotiv by beating Mordovia Saransk, a team without a league win for two months, but fell short in a 0-0 draw.
The St. Petersburg team had chance after chance at home against Mordovia, but was denied by poor shooting accuracy and a solid performance from opposing goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili. Zenit came closest to scoring in the 68th when midfielder Oleg Shatov flicked the ball over Revishvili but Mordovia defender Maxim Tishkin rushed back to clear the ball off the line.
”We had lots of chances but we couldn’t convert them,” Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas said. ”Whatever we did wrong, (Mordovia) defended the result and they got one point today. I feel a little bit sorry because of our lack of efficiency in front of goal.”
Zenit is 10 points off the lead and one behind Lokomotiv, which holds the second of the two Champions League qualifying places. Mordovia remains in the relegation zone in 15th as its winless streak stretches to seven games.