Moscow (AFP) – Veteran full-back Sergei Ignashevich shrugged off his 37 years to head the winning goal as reigning Russian champions CSKA Moscow beat rock-bottom Samara 2-1 on Sunday.
Midfielder Alexander Golovin was also on target as CSKA ground out a win which left them in second place in the table, two points behind leaders Spartak.
Golovin got the opener after only eight minutes from inside the box but Samara levelled just before half-time when Cristian Pasquato found left-back Dmitry Yatchenko unmarked in the area.
He kept his cool to hammer the ball past CSKA ‘keeper Igor Akinfeev.
That set the stage for Ignashevich to grab the winner with a close-range header off Alan Dzagoev’s corner with 13 minutes to go.
“I have mixed feelings after this match,” CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky told Russian television.
“We started well, we scored an early goal and had several chances to increase the lead. But after that we lost the initiative and allowed Samara to level. Luckily we managed to score again after the break.”
Krasnodar battled back from a goal down to beat Rostov 2-1 to go fifth but needed two goals in the dying minutes to secure victory.
Spaniard Cesar Navas put Rostov into the lead in the 10th minute from a corner by Timofei Kalachev.
Krasnodar had to wait until the 87th minute to level when Brazilian star Naldo sent home a rebound after Rostov goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanaev parried a header by Fedor Smolov.
Smolov found the winner in the third minute of stoppage time with a penalty after Ricardo Laborde was brought down.
“I’m grateful to my players for their performance,” Krasnodar caretaker coach Igor Shalimov said.
“They all did well, they showed strong character and gave everything they had for the win.”