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CSKA thrash Ufa to keep tabs on Zenit

Moscow (AFP) – Five-time former Russian champions CSKA Moscow tuned up for their Champions League campaign-opener at Viktoria Plzen with a 3-0 win at Ufa on Saturday.

A goal by Fyodor Chalov and a brace by Timur Zhamaletdinov steered last season’s runners-up to a deserved win which lifted them into fourth, four points behind leaders Zenit St Petersburg, who face promoted Orenburg on Sunday.

“The match was much more difficult than the scoreline indicates,” CSKA manager Viktor Gancharenko said.

“Our performance wasn’t solid and we were not in control of the game.”

Chalov consolidated his lead in the league’s scorers chart in first-half injury time when he netted his season’s sixth goal from the edge of the six-yard box after a mix-up in the hosts’ defence.

First-half substitute forward Zhamaletdinov scored twice within the space of just four minutes after the break to secure the visitors’ win.

Elsewhere, struggling two-time former champions Rubin Kazan beat visitors Yenisei Krasnoyarsk 1-0 to put an end to their five-match winless streak.

Russian international forward Dmitry Poloz scored the decisive goal in the sixth minute when he fired the ball in from 14 yards out with a low shot off a short cross by Sardar Azmoun.

The narrow win lifted Rubin into sixth.

“It was a very hard match just like we expected,” Rubin head coach Kurban Berdyev said. “Luckily we managed to keep our narrow lead through. It’s a very important win.”

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