A fierce header from Igor Semshov gave Dynamo Moscow a 1-1 draw in their derby game against CSKA Moscow on Friday, stopping CSKA from drawing closer to leaders Zenit St. Petersburg.
CSKA stay in second, two points ahead of Dynamo and five behind Zenit, who have a game in hand against FC Kuban on Saturday.
Russian Premier League top scorer Seydou Doumbia scored his 26th goal of the season to give CSKA an early lead, but Semshov canceled it out with a precise and powerful header on 75 minutes from Dynamo debutant Balazs Dzsudzsak’s cross.
CSKA took the lead after three minutes, when Doumbia picked up Keisuke Honda’s lob over the Dynamo defense and flicked the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky.
A well-drilled CSKA offside trap stopped several dangerous Dynamo moves in the early stages, as the second-placed side established their authority on the derby.
It took 20 minutes for Dynamo to register their first shot, when Artur Yusupov fired a long-range effort that was easily gathered by Sergey Chepchugov in the CSKA goal.
Nigerian winger Ahmed Musa was dangerous again after his goal against Zenit last week, sprinting past Dynamo right-back Luke Wilkshire several times in the first half, but was unable to find Doumbia with his crosses.
On 41 minutes, CSKA missed an excellent chance to extend their lead when Doumbia set Musa free in the box, and the Nigerian rounded Berezovsky, only to lose his footing and fall over in front of an open goal.
Former Liverpool striker Andrey Voronin was the focus of Dynamo’s attacks, and beat the CSKA offside trap twice in the last five minutes of the first half, but a heavy first touch stopped him converting his chances.
Sekou Oliseh missed a chance to extend CSKA’s lead a minute after the restart when he forced a save from Berezovsky at the near post, but Dynamo soon began to dominate as CSKA seemed happy to sit back and defend.
Chepchugov was forced to dive at full stretch to stop a low, long volley from Yusupov after dealing with an effort from young striker Alexander Kokorin three minutes earlier.
CSKA’s narrow formation opened up space on the left flank for Balazs Dzsudzsak, playing his first game for Dynamo since joining from Anzhi Makhachkala, who swung in a cross on 75 minutes for Igor Semshov, who sent a powerful header past the outstretched Chepchugov into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Doumbia responded immediately as he dribbled into the Dynamo box and was about to shoot when he was swamped by Dynamo defenders and dispossessed.
The match fizzled out in the last ten minutes, as a succession of fouls and offsides prevented either team from taking control.
Kokorin surged into the Dynamo box deep into stoppage time, but was unable to find space to strike a winner.