Russian Premier League: Matchday 3 Round-Up rounds up the action from the RPL, where Rubin Kazan are struggling to match last season's achievements at this early stage...
Friday, April 3

FC Khimki 0-1 FC Rostov

A small crowd of only 3,000 saw the former Russian Under-21 international Igor Lebedenko score the winner for the away side in the 75th minute.

The 25-year-old gave Rostov their first win of the Russian Premier League season.

The team coached by former USSR international, Oleg Vasilyevich Dolmatov, are unbeaten this season with a win and two draws and sit in seventh place on the ladder.

Saturday, April 4 2009

Terek Grozny 1-0 Dinamo Moscow

Terek Grozny scored an upset win against unbeaten and early league leaders Dinamo Moscow at Tsentralnyi Stadium in Chechnya.

A very happy home crowd of 14,000 saw captain Timur Dzhabrailov collect the points for the home side in the 13th minute.
A red card in the 73rd minute for defender Vladimir Granat did not help Dinamo’s cause.

Terek Grzony are now enjoying the unprecedented view from the top of the Russian Premier League, sitting on seven points - equal with Zenit St. Petersburg.

Feature Match:

FK Rubin Kazan 0-0 FC Moscow

Russian champions Rubin Kazan were held at home 0-0 by FC Moscow. The team located 500 miles from the Russian capital also had a disappointing goalless draw last time out against Spartak Nalchick; are the champs turning into chumps?

First Half

Rubin had a good chance to score in the 18th minute; a corner was delivered into the penalty area and a header from Russian youth international Alexander Bukharov fell into the path of defender Roman Sharanov. The 33 year-old just failed to get a strong connection with his right foot and Belarusian goalkeeper Yuri Zhevnov saved well low to his right.

Argentinian No. 10 Alejandro Dominguez was getting into good positions for Rubin in the midfield and giving some prompt passes to his team-mates.

In the 28th minute, a cross from the left by Rubin’s Gokdeniz Karadeniz drifted towards goal and Zhevnov had to punch the ball over the bar to safety.

Straight from the resulting corner, a great ball in Dominguez saw a header cleared off the line by FC Moscow.

A few moments later Dominguez dribbled his way into the box but his left footed shot was straight at the Moscow keeper.

Around the 32nd minute, FC Moscow were able to relieve a bit of the Rubin pressure by mounting an attack of their own, midfielder Alexander Samedov skewing a shot past the right hand side of Sergei Ryzhikov’s goal.

Five minutes before half-time Rubin Kazan had a good shout for a penalty turned down as Karadeniz appeared to be felled by Isaac Okoronkwo.

The howls of the home fans and protests by the Rubin players were not enough to sway referee Nikolai Ivanov to point to the spot.

Second Half

The spring sunshine that courted the Tsentralnyi Stadium at the start of the game gave way to a snow shower as the players ran on to the field for beginning of the second half.

The 54th minute saw a half chance for Rubin not taken. A lovely lob from Macbeth Sibaya over the top of the defence saw Alexander Bukharov run through on goal. Zhevnov hesitated but the FC Moscow defence cleared the ball out for a corner just as Bukahrov was about to line up a shot.

On 62 minutes a lovely through ball by Dominguez saw Bukharov again through on goal down the right hand side of the field. Unfortunately for the striker, he could not add to his tally of three goals so far this season as he shot straight at the keeper.

The pressure from Rubin was relentless as another good chance was wasted; this time a left footed shot by current Russian international midfielder Sergei Semak going straight at the keeper.

The story was to remain the same until the end for Rubin as they spurned chance after chance. A 76th minute corner saw a great opportunity fall to Bukarav; amazingly his shot from three yards out was hoofed into the stands.

The frustration of the home fans was illustrated by a miss from 87th minute substitute, Hasan Kabze. The 26 year-old could not take advantage of a free header in box deep into injury time.

The Rubin fans will look to that old adage 'hope springs eternal' as they seek goals and a win next game against joint league leaders, Terek Grozny.

The away team are still to score this season and they continued the trend with this game; FC Moscow sit on two points, third from the bottom of the table.

Saturn Moscow 2-1 Kuban Krasnodar

The team who all science fiction fans should have as their own, Saturn Moscow, blasted their way off the bottom of the Russian Premier League. The Aliens had Russian international striker Dmitri Kirichenko to thank for the victory.

The 32-year-old scored the first goal of the game, netting in the 30th minute. However 26-year-old Mali international striker Dramane Traore got one back for Kuban Krasnodar three minutes later.

The home side took the lead in the 56th minute. Dmitri Kirichenko netted his second of the game much to the delight of the small but happy 4,000 home crowd.

Sunday April 5

FK Tom' Tomsk 0-3 Zenit St. Petersburg

The 15,000 Tom Tomsk fans at the Trud Stadium went home disappointed as Zenit St. Petersburg went to the top of the league after an impressive 3-0 away win. All the goals were scored in the second half for Dick Advocaat's side.

The first to score was one of the Dutchman’s off-season recruits. Portuguese international defender Fernando Meira struck in the 54th minute to put the team from St Petersburg in the lead.

Zenit doubled their lead through the in-form Igor Denisov in the 59th minute.

Fatih Tekke completed the rout in the 82nd minute, continuing with his good goalscoring form of late with club and country.

Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 Kryliya Sovetov (Samara)

The 12,740 Lokomotiv Moscow fans in attendance will be happy that their team finally secured a first win of the season after two consecutive draws.

However it was the away team who were the first to score as 27-year-old Belarus midfielder Timofei Kalachev troubled the scoreboard in 28th minute.

Lokomotiv equalised through left-back Oleg Kuzmin; he scored in the 55th minute. It was the tall Croatian midfielder Tomislav Dujmovic who secured the three points for the home team; the 28 year-old getting the goal after 87 minutes.

FK Amkar Perm' 0-0 CSKA Moscow

Sixteen thousand at the Zvezda Stadium saw a CSKA Moscow team containing the likes of Brazilians, Daniel Carvalho and Vagner Love and Russian international midfielder Yuri Zhirkov play out a disappointing scoreless draw against Amkar Perm.

CSKA are coached by Zico, and have a win, a draw and a loss so far this season. The Brazilian would have hoped for more from this game as opponents Amkar Perm had only amassed a point and were largely recognised as the weaker side.

CSKA play Lokomotiv Moscow at home on Sunday.

Spartak Moscow 2-0 Spartak Nalchik

A healthy crowd of 20,000 at the Luzhniki Stadium saw goals scored either side of the half-time break as Spartak Moscow beat Spartak Nalchik.

Spartak Moscow’s Brazilian import Alex, who moved from Internacional for €5 million at the start of the Russian season, scored in the 44th minute and his fellow Brazilian striker Wellington doubled the lead in the 49th minute.

The Brazilian strikers helped Spartak Moscow to get their first win of the season.

Spartak Nalchik are propping up the table with only one point so far this season, the draw against Rubin Kazan their only real highlight to speak of.

Con Stamocostas,