MOSCOW, November 18 (R-Sport) - FC Kuban condemned bottom side Mordovia Saransk to their 12th defeat of the Russian Premier League season on Sunday with a 3-0 victory.
The hosts went ahead on an 18th-minute own goal by Ukrainian defender Pavel Stepanets, who stabbed a cross from Alexei Ionov into his own net under very little pressure.
Kuban's Senegalese striker Ibrahima Balde scored a spectacular second on 27 minutes, sending a 25-yard rocket into the top corner of Dmitry Abakumov's goal.
Aras Ozbiliz made it three with an average free kick that Abakumov misjudged and palmed into his own net. It was the Armenian playmaker's sixth league goal of the season.
Mordovia's misery was complete in the 87th minute, when Kuban goalkeeper Alexander Belenov saved Kirill Panchenko's penalty with an outstretched leg.
Mordovia's Rustam Mukhametshin had a near-post volley saved brilliantly by Belenov in the dying seconds.
Yuri Krasnozhanov's men move up one place to fifth, now on 28 points from 16 games and eight points off CSKA Moscow's lead.
Earlier in the day, CSKA Moscow went six points clear at the top with a 3-0 dismantling of lowly Amkar Perm.
On Saturday, FC Volga held Spartak Moscow to a 1-1 draw, and Rubin Kazan beat Alania Vladikavkaz 2-0.
Dynamo Moscow's home game against Zenit St. Petersburg was abandoned after 36 minutes when Dynamo goalkeeper Anton Shunin was injured by a flare thrown from the stands.
Later Sunday, Anzhi Makhachkala can shrink CSKA's lead to three points against FC Rostov.
Monday sees Lokomotiv Moscow visit Krylya Sovetov and FC Krasnodar host Terek Grozny.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Classic Car Rally in St. Petersburg
Infographics: Global Warming: Predicting Future Disasters
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.