Terek Grozny continued their astonishing start to the Russian Premier League on Saturday with a 2-1 win over 10-man Rubin Kazan thanks to a late winner from Magomed Mitrishev.
It was a fifth win in the first eight games for the minnows from Chechnya, who go level on 16 points with leaders and reigning champions Zenit St. Petersburg.
It took Terek 15 matches to reach the same total last season, when they finished eleventh.
Moscow sides CSKA and Spartak can close the gap to a single point with their games in hand on Sunday.
Chad international striker Ezechiel Ndouassel opened the scoring for Terek on 13 minutes, volleying the ball into the far corner of the net after a Fedor Kudryashov cross.
Rubin's summer signing from Malaga, Jose Salomon Rondon, equalized on 68 minutes, firing home from close range after Terek goalkeeper Yaroslav Godzyur made a fingertip save from striker Vladimir Dyadyun.
Terek restored the lead four minutes before time as Mitrishev, outplaying Rubin's defenders, hammered the ball into the net from an Igor Lebedenko pass.
In the last minute, Rubin were reduced to 10 men as Salvatore Bocchetti was sent off for a handball, picking up a second yellow card.
In Friday's only game, Zenit secured a 3-0 away victory against newly promoted Mordovia Saransk with striker Alexander Kerzhakov bagging a brace.
Later Saturday FC Rostov travel to FC Volga and Amkar Perm face Alania Vladikavkaz away.
Lokomotiv Moscow clash with Spartak in Sunday’s biggest game, while FC Krasnodar meet CSKA. Elsewhere, Dan Petrescu’s Dynamo Moscow face his former team FC Kuban and Krylya Sovetov Samara host Anzhi Makhachkala.