- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

MOSCOW (AP) - Surprise title challenger FC Rostov snatched top spot in the Russian Premier League on Saturday with a 2-0 win over CSKA Moscow.

Goals at the end of each half from Dmitry Poloz and Moussa Doumbia were enough to sink CSKA and give new impetus to underdog Rostov in the title race.

The team from southern Russia has never finished higher than sixth in the Russian league and its sudden rise is all the more remarkable because the club has been fighting financial problems over the last year.

A key figure in Rostov’s rise is Kurban Berdyev, the Turkmenistan-born coach who previously took Rubin Kazan to two Russian titles and has a reputation for overperforming on a modest budget.

On Saturday, Poloz gave Rostov the lead in the 45th minute on an incisive counterattack as Guelor Kanga and Serdar Azmoun combined to find Poloz in space in front of the goal.

The second goal came deep into second-half stoppage time as CSKA pushed forward, only for Doumbia to make it 2-0 on the counter.

Rostov and CSKA are level on 40 points, with Rostov taking first place thanks to a better head-to-head record.

Spartak Moscow sits third, seven points back after two late goals from Ze Luis and Quincy Promes secured a 2-1 win over Amkar Perm.

Following Pavel Komolov’s first-half opener for Amkar, Ze Luis changed the game following his halftime introduction, scoring the first goal on the rebound and helping to bring about Promes’ penalty kick when he was fouled by Georgy Dzhikiya.

Elsewhere, Ural Yekaterinburg stayed eighth despite a 4-2 win over Anzhi Makhachkala. In Friday’s sole match, relegation-threatened Kuban Krasnodar grabbed a 2-0 victory over Krylya Sovetov Samara.


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