MOSCOW, November 26 (R-Sport) - A stoppage-time strike from Oleg Shatov gave Anzhi Makhachkala all three points in a tense Russian Premier League encounter with Amkar Perm on Monday.
Anzhi's 2-1 win cut the gap to leaders CSKA Moscow to two points ahead of CSKA’s game at third-placed Zenit St. Petersburg later Monday, following the win in freezing conditions in the Ural Mountains. Amkar stay 11th.
Shatov picked up the ball 25 yards out in the second minute of stoppage time and took advantage of Amkar’s narrow defensive shape to cut inside and slice a shot past goalkeeper Roman Gerus.
“It’s always difficult to play these games against a team who is fighting very strongly,” Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink said in televised comments.
Earlier, Amkar had held the lead for two minutes in the first half after unmarked Andrei Semyonov ghosted in at the near post to head in Gianluca Nijholt’s 26th-minute corner.
“They had a very good goal with their No. 22 [Semyonov], a very good corner kick goal and then we had to work very hard to get it done,” Hiddink said.
Anzhi responded immediately to Semyonov’s strike, with Odil Ahmedov storming through a gap in the Amkar defense to latch onto Shamil Lakhiyalov’s through ball and score his first goal of the season.
Amkar almost snatched the lead back when Nijholt volleyed wide just after Anzhi’s equalizer, while the visitors could have taken the lead late on when Yuri Zhirkov scooped the ball over the bar from a Lacina Traore backheel.
On Friday, FC Rostov beat a woeful Mordovia Saransk side 2-0.
Saturday saw Terek Grozny beat Alania Vladikavkaz 1-0 before Lokomotiv Moscow defeated FC Krasnodar 3-2, and on Sunday Dynamo Moscow ended Spartak Moscow coach Unai Emery's reign with a 5-1 thrashing before FC Kuban thumped Krylya Sovetov 4-1.
Later Monday, Rubin Kazan take on FC Volga.
CSKA's match with Zenit later Monday will take place in an empty stadium as part of Zenit's punishment for an incident in which a flare from the Zenit end injured a player during last week's game against Dynamo.