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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rotor and Dynamo Rise to League's Top Spot

Rotor Volgograd and Dynamo Moscow took advantage of Spartak Moscow's absence from league play and claimed a share of the top spot in the standings with a pair of road wins.

Both Rotor and Dynamo, which trailed the defending champions by a point prior to weekend matches, gained the maximum three points Saturday when they beat Krylya Sovietov 2-1 in Samara and Rostselmash 3-1 in Rostov-On-Don respectively.

Oleg Veretennikov helped the Volgograd cause with his league-leading 14th goal of the season, while Oleg Terekhin struck his 11th from a free kick for Dynamo.

Torpedo-Luzhniki Moscow scored its second impressive victory in a row over relegation-bound KamAZ 3-1 in Naberezhnye Chelny after beating Spartak 1-0 in a make-up game last Wednesday.

Another Moscow club, CSKA, disappointed a sparse crowd at its newly renovated home grounds when it failed to beat helpless Shinnik Yaroslavl, wasting numerous scoring chances. The game ended with neither side managing to put a single shot between the goalposts.

Meanwhile, Russian league officials gave Spartak some extra time off from its busy schedule before the Muscovites debut in the qualifying round of the Champions' League against Slovakia's Kosice Wednesday, by moving their regular league game against Chernomorets in Novorossiisk to late September.

On Friday Georgian import Levan Kobiashvili, with his two goals in the last seven minutes, led Alania's comeback against Baltika in Kaliningrad, giving the Vladikavkaz side a tough 2-1 win.

It was a much needed victory for last year's runner-up, plagued by inconsistent play all season, advancing Vladikavkaz, which also will open its UEFA Cup campaign this week, to sixth place in the standings.