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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Title Race Goes to Last Day

The eight-month battle for the Russian soccer championship will now be decided on the last day of the season next Sunday with two teams, Spartak Moscow and Alania Vladikavkaz, now sharing first place on 69 points with just one game remaining.

The league leader Spartak could only manage a 1-1 draw at home against mid-table Rostov, disappointing a nearly 16,000-strong sell-out crowd at Torpedo stadium Friday.

Veteran defender Sergei Gorlukovich saved the day for the Muscovites when he equalized from a free kick with only five minutes left in the match. Two minutes earlier Alexei Gerasimenko had put the visitors ahead with his solo effort.

Defending champion Alania, which started the day in third place, two points behind the leaders, drew level with Spartak with an easy 2-0 victory in Komyshin against relegation bound Tekstilshchik.

Bakhva Tedeev scored both goals for the North Ossetian team.

Rotor Volgograd, also in contention for the championship, had a chance to grab the lead if it beat Lokomotiv but missed the opportunity, losing 2-0 in Moscow. Rotor is now two points behind Spartak and Alania.

Rotor had the advantage for most of the match but was unable to penetrate a tight Lokomotiv defense.

Ukrainian import Oleg Garas scored in the 20th and 85th minutes for Lokomotiv.

Spartak now have a difficult schedule, first home to SV Hamburg in the second leg of their UEFA Cup match Tuesday, then traveling to St. Petersburg to face Zenit while both Alania and Rotor play at home against Lokomotiv Nizhny Novgorod and Uralmash respectively.

If the teams remain level on points at the end of the season then they will square off in a decisive show-down at a neutral ground.