Kuban Krasnodar kept their European hopes alive on Sunday with a routine 2-0 win at home to relegation battlers Volga.
The victory saw Kuban end a run of six consecutive draws to move up to seventh with 44 points, level with Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow in the two places above them, leaving the race for Europa League qualification wide open, while Volga stay in 11th.
Kuban took 22 minutes to breakdown their visitors as Sergei Petrov found the net and Isael da Silva added the second just before half-time.
The hosts failed to add to their tally in the second half, but they cruised to the three points. despite Moussa Konate’s stoppage time red card.
Dynamo Moscow moved up to fourth after a narrow 2-1 win over Krylia Sovetov. Hungarian attacker Balazs Dzsudzsak opened the scoring for Dynamo in the first five minutes as he fired a low shot into the bottom corner.
The visitors continued to have the better of proceedings in Samara and they doubled their lead in the 61st minute through 20-year-old Pavel Solomatin on just his second start for the club, with the forward tapping in Dzsudzsak’s cross.
Ivan Taranov gave Krylia a way back into the match just four minutes later as he produced an excellent header at the far post, but Dan Petrescu’s team held on to move back into the European places, while the hosts remain in the relegation play-off places.
Amkar Perm stay just outside of the bottom four despite a 4-2 defeat at home to Lokomotiv Moscow, a match which promised more for the hosts as Blagoy Georgiev gave them the lead 24 minutes in.
However, once Lokomotiv got started, they could not be stopped as four goals in a 23-minute spell which began just before half-time had them well on their way to the three points.
Aleksey Miranchuk, Dame N’Doye, Dmitri Torbinski and Renat Yanbayev got the goals for the visitors and they were more than enough despite Zahari Sirakov’s stoppage time strike for Amkar.