Champions CSKA look ahead to Cup final after defeat

26 May 2013 12:46

Newly crowned Russian champions CSKA Moscow suffered a meaningless 3-0 defeat at the hands of Rostov on Sunday in their final league match of the season.

However with the championship already wrapped up before kick-off, the Red Army side can now concentrate on next weekend's Russian Cup final against Anzhi Makhachkala.

The capital club topped the table with 64 points from 30 matches to finish two points ahead of Zenit St Petersburg.

CSKA have also clinched their place in the next season's Champions League group phase.

Anzhi Makhachkala, who were beaten 1-0 by Kuban at Krasnodar, finished third on 53 points while the hosts' victory booked them passage into next season's Europa League.

CSKA, who rested a number of key players went 1-0 behind in the 19th minute when Rostov striker Dmitry Poloz fired past Sergei Chepchugov after confusion in the CSKA penalty area.

The hosts Gabonese midfielder Kanga Kaku added the second goal just before half-time when he beat Chepchugov with a close-range shot before midfielder Timofei Kalachev rounded off the scoring 10 minutes after the interval.

However CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky played down the significence of the heavy defeat.

"Unfortunately we failed to keep ourselves concentrated in this match," he said. "But I cannot say that it was a disgraceful match for us."

"We played well in the first half and created some chances but it was Rostov who scored. It was really hard to keep concentration in our situation as all of our thoughts are currently about the cup final."

Zenit St Petersburg, who came to Perm without several first choice players including suspended Brazilian forward Hulk held on for a 0-0 draw at Amkar.

Meanwhile, Russia's most successful club Spartak Moscow experienced few troubles on their way to a confident 2-0 win over 10-man 1995 champions Alania Vladikavkaz to secure their place in the Europa League.

The match was marred by the fifth minute red card shown to Ivory Coast defender Akes Goore Dacosta after he was caught making an obscene gesture in the direction of the Spartak Moscow fans.

Spartak took full advantage and took the lead on 26 minutes when defender Sergei Bryzgalov converted from a well constructed corner.

Georgia's Jano Ananidze then made it 2-0 for Spartak when he found the target after a fine cross from Dmitry Kombarov's left wing cross with 11 minutes remaining to secure the nine-time champions a well deserved win.

Alania and Saransk were relegated and will be replaced by Ural Yekaterinburg and Tomsk for next season.

Rostov and Samara, who finished 13th and 14th, will have to play in the play-offs for the right to stay in the Premiership with Spartak Nalchik and Khabarovsk, who finished third and fourth respectively in the first division and are still in the hunt for a top flight place next season.

Source: AFP

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