Brazilian striker Danilo Neco’ second-half strike rescued a point as Alania Vladikavkaz drew 1-1 with Mordovia Saransk in a cagey relegation scrap between the two newly-promoted sides.
Mordovia’s point lifts the hosts off the bottom of the Russian Premier League, but they stay in the relegation zone, four points adrift of 14th-placed Alania and safety.
Alania are now level on points with Dynamo Moscow in 12th and FC Rostov in 13th.
Ruslan Mukhametshin was the top scorer in last season’s promotion run that gave Mordovia their first season in the top flight, and he opened the scoring on 38 minutes.
Maxim Rogov floated in a cross from deep and Mukhametshin beat defender Azat Bairyev to the ball to head past goalkeeper Dmitry Khomich.
Neco equalized on a counter-attack, starting the move with a surging run from near his own box and playing in strike partner Diego Mauricio before lashing the ball into the net with venom when goalkeeper Dmitry Abakumov failed to hold Mauricio’s shot.
Alania are now six games in all competitions without a win, while Mordovia have played seven league matches since their sole top-flight win, a 3-0 victory over Rostov on August 3.
Earlier Monday, Krylya Sovetov drew 2-2 at home with FC Krasnodar.
In Sunday’s games, Samuel Eto’o and Lacina Traore fired Anzhi to the top of the league in a 2-1 home win over FC Volga, taking advantage of championship rivals CSKA Moscow’s earlier 2-0 derby defeat to Dynamo Moscow.
Sunday’s other match saw Venezuelan striker Jose Salomon Rondon score twice as Rubin Kazan dismantled ten-man FC Rostov in a 4-0 away thrashing.
On Saturday, Spartak Moscow snatched a comeback 3-1 win at Amkar Perm, while late stunning goal by Armenian winger Aras Ozbiliz secured a 2-1 home victory for FC Kuban against Terek Grozny.
Zenit St. Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow drew 1-1 Saturday in a bad-tempered game that saw both sides lose a player to a red card.