MOSCOW, September 15 (R-Sport) - Lokomotiv Moscow rose a place to fourth in the Russian Premier League on Sunday after a thumping header from Dmitry Tarasov gave the Railwaymen a 1-0 win over FC Kuban.
Tarasov climbed above two defenders to direct Alexander Samedov's corner past Alexander Belenov in the Kuban goal four minutes into the second half of a game played in the pouring rain.
"The game was hard, the surface was tricky and the opponents difficult. ... But three points are three points," Lokomotiv coach Leonid Kuchuk said.
Kuban coach Dorinel Munteanu, meanwhile, cursed his side's misfortune.
"Today luck helped the hosts, because Kuban outplayed Lokomotiv in the number of chances created," the Romanian said. "In the second half we took the initiative but we were found wanting in the finishing department."
Kuban, the visitors, put up fierce resistance but couldn't convert any of several chances, coming closest through Bulgarian forward Ivelin Popov.
Lokomotiv's fifth win of the season sees them bounce back from a 2-1 defeat to Zenit St. Petersburg before last week's international break to rise to within four points of CSKA Moscow's lead, displacing FC Rostov from fourth.
Kuban register their second loss of the season and remain eighth on 10 points.
Dame N'Doye went close twice for Lokomotiv in the early stages, finding Kuban stopper Belenov in typically sharp form to deny the Senegalese forward both times.
At the other end Ibrahima Balde had a stinging drive turned away by Ilya Abaev in the Lokomotiv goal, after which Gheorghe Bucur was denied in similar circumstances.
The first half ended with a flurry of chances for Kuban as Ivelin Popov's control let him down when clean through on goal and David Tsoraev blasted over.
But Lokomotiv came out revitalised and laid seige to the Kuban goal before Tarasov claimed his third goal of the season. Roman Shishkin then rattled the angle of post and crossbar with a booming shot from the right side of the penalty area.
Kuban rallied and Brazilian defender Xandao send a header inches wide before Popov steered a shot off-target with Abaev beaten.
Visting manager Munteanu threw on Djibril Cisse in the hope of a late equalizer but it never came.
Later Sunday, Anzhi Makhachkala visit FC Tomsk and Amkar Perm meet Rubin Kazan. The eighth round of games ends Monday when Dynamo Moscow play Ural Yekaterinburg away.
On Saturday, Konstantin Bazelyuk scored on his CSKA Moscow debut to give the reigning champions a 1-0 win over Rostov to remain three points clear at the top; Alexander Kerzhakov scored one goal and set up another as Zenit St. Petersburg beat Terek Grozny 2-0 to remain third; second-placed Spartak beat FC Volga 1-0 away and there was a 1-1 draw between FC Krasnodar and Krylya Sovetov Samara.