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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alania Falls, Rotor Grabs League Lead

Top scorer Oleg Veretennikov's 19th goal of the season was enough to give Rotor Volgograd a one-point lead in the Russian premier league Saturday.

With only three games left to play, Volgograd beat mid-table Baltika Kaliningrad 1-0 at home to go one point ahead of Spartak Moscow, which won the local derby against Dinamo 3-1.

Alania Vladikavkaz, who had the same number of points as Rotor at the start of the day, dropped to fourth place after losing 2-0 at CSKA Moscow.

Spartak moved up to second after taking apart Dinamo's defense. Second-half goals by Vadim Yevseyev, Dmitry Aleinichev and Ilya Tsymbalar rounded off a powerful attacking display which served notice that the 1994 champions should not be written off. Dinamo striker Dmitry Cherychev got the consolation goal, his 16th of the season, in the last minute.

"This was a must game for us," said Spartak coach Georgy Yartsev. "We knew that only a win could keep us in the title chase."

CSKA also kept its hopes alive by winning a tough, scrappy match against Alania. A packed stadium of almost 15,000 saw Brazilian defender Samorani and Andrei Movsesyan punish the slack Vladikavkaz defense. Samaroni found himself free to score in the box after 40 minutes and Movsesyan turned two defenders to make it 2-0 just after the hour. Dzhioyev's sending off a few minutes later ended a bad day for Vladikavkaz.

Of the main title contenders Rotor are the favorites with the easiest run-in

Spartak, which travels to Germany to face Hamburg in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday and then faces Torpedo Moscow in the league next Saturday, has the toughest task. (MT, Reuters)

(For other results, see Scorecard.)