MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti)
(UPDATES with match action)
A controversial late penalty from Dmitry Kombarov and a debut goal for Romulo gave Spartak Moscow all three points in a 2-1 win over Rubin Kazan in the Russian Premier League on Saturday.
With 12 points, Spartak are now level at the top with reigning champions Zenit St. Petersburg, who have a game in hand.
Kombarov scored the winner from the spot after striker Welliton was brought down by Rubin captain Cristian Ansaldi, although the foul appeared to take place outside the penalty box.
Rubin's Israeli midfielder Bibras Natkho had opened the scoring with a penalty on 36 minutes after the referee pointed to the spot when Alan Kasaev was brought down by Brazilian midfielder Rafael Carioca.
The goal means that Natkho is now the league's top scorer with five goals from five games.
Spartak came back into the match on 73 minutes when Brazil midfielder Romulo scored a debut goal with a powerful bouncing header from a corner.
Spartak dominated throughout the first half, but failed to produce many clear-cut chances.
Rubin avoided early trouble on 11 minutes when goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov stopped a low shot from Spartak’s Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike.
On 44 minutes Ryzhikov saved his team from conceding an equalizer when he stopped Carioca’s powerful distant effort.
Three minutes after the break Spartak defender Nicolas Pareja was centimeters from scoring an own goal as he tried to block a cross from Rubin midfielder Roman Eremenko.
Ryzhikov saved Rubin again on 73 minutes when Georgia midfielder Jano Ananidze tried a speculative long-range effort after picking up a pass from Russia forward Artem Dzyuba.
In the added time it the turn of Spartak goalkeeper Andriy Dikan to make the saves, stopping Venezuela striker Jose Salomon Rondon’s header as Rubin pushed for an equalizer.
Later Saturday, Lokomotiv Moscow travel to FC Volga, while FC Krasnodar host FC Rostov.
Anzhi clash with Zenit St. Petersburg in Sunday’s biggest game, while Dynamo Moscow host Terek Grozny in Moscow and CSKA Moscow face FC Rostov away.
On Monday, Krylya Sovetov play Amkar Perm and Alania Vladikavkaz meet FC Kuban.
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