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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CSKA Widens Gap as Its Rivals Run Out of Steam

Champion CSKA Moscow took a step toward retaining the title with a 2-1 win at Rostov after its closest rival Spartak Moscow was held to a 1-1 draw against last place Shinnik Yaroslavl.

The results left CSKA 4 points ahead of Spartak and 8 in front of third-place Lokomotiv Moscow with four matches remaining.

Croatian striker Ivica Olic scored a second-half brace after two brilliant assists from Brazilian international midfielder Daniel Carvalho to give CSKA the win.

Olic put the defending champion ahead nine minutes into the second half, latching on to Carvalho's incisive pass.

Rostov drew level after CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev brought down striker Issa Canienda. He came close to redeeming himself by saving the penalty, but could do nothing to stop Timofey Kalachev from slotting in the rebound.

Olic settled the game five minutes from time, with Carvalho again the provider.

Defender Sergei Onelyanchuk broke Spartak hearts in Yaroslavl as he drilled in an injury time equalizer for Shinnik.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, the league's top scorer, had fired Spartak into an early lead with his 14th goal of the season in the seventh minute. Spartak should have put the game beyond doubt but wasted several opportunities to double its lead, before Onelyanchuk grabbed Shinnik a share of the points two minutes into injury time.

Lokomotiv dented its already slim title hopes with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of city rivals Dynamo. Lokomotiv has now lost three of its last four matches, and the second under new coach Oleg Dolmatov.

In other games it was: Zenit 1, FK Moscow 1; Torpedo Moscow 1, Rubin 2; Saturn 1, Luch Energia 0; Amkar 1, Krylya Sovietov 0; and Tom 1, Spartak Nalchik 0.

(Reuters, MT)