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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Late Spartak Equalizer Averts Surprise Defeat

Vladimir Beschastnykh scored a last-minute equalizer to save Russian champion Spartak Moscow from defeat at bottom-of-the-table Sokol Saratov on Sunday as it came from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw.

The draw left Spartak in second place with 43 points from 21 games, two points behind Premier League leader and city rival Lokomotiv, which also has a game in hand.

Spartak had a chance to move level on points with Lokomotiv by racking up its 10th win in 11 matches, but quickly found itself two goals behind.

Alan Sakiev scored for Sokol, which is fighting desperately to avoid relegation, on 23 minutes and Ruslan Baltiyev doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

But Spartak, playing without injured captain Yegor Titov, Ukraine defender Dmitry Parfyonov and Cameroon full back Jerry-Christian Tchuisse, fought back after the interval.

Former Russia goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov made his debut for Spartak replacing Maxim Levitsky at halftime.

Brazilian defender Moises Pineiro started the comeback with his first goal for the Moscow side in the 62nd minute, and Russia striker Beschastnykh, the club's leading scorer, salvaged a point with his 10th goal of the season.

Elsewhere, Krylya Sovietov Samara won 2-0 at Anzhi Makhachkala with a brace from Andrei Karayka to move into fourth place with 30 points from 19 matches.

The Russian international opened the scoring in the 32nd minute and added a second shortly after the interval.