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Krasnodar hold champions CSKA in Moscow

Moscow (AFP) – Russian champions CSKA Moscow warmed up for their Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur by drawing 1-1 at home to Krasnodar on Saturday.

The result left the Red Army side in second place in the Russian Premier League, one point behind leaders Spartak, who take on Ufa on Sunday. 

Zenit St Petersburg, who visit Anzhi Makhachkala also on Sunday, sit third, three points further back.

CSKA got off to a flying start at their new stadium as giant Ivorian forward Lacina Traore opened the scoring when the game was just three minutes old, firing home from close range.

However, the visitors levelled on the quarter-hour mark when forward Fedor Smolov, the league’s top scorer last season, netted his eighth goal of this campaign with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

Despite the dropped points, CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky said he was pleased with his team’s performance.

“I’m really pleased with the quality of football my team played today,” said Slutsky, whose side host Spurs on Tuesday having drawn 2-2 away to Bayer Leverkusen in Germany in their opening Group E game.

“That was our best match this season. Unfortunately we failed to win it.”

Elsewhere, Rostov, last season’s surprise runners-up, beat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 to go fifth.

Dmitry Poloz scored the winning goal four minutes before half-time when he headed home an Alexander Yerokhin cross.

Rostov host PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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