MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti)
(UPDATES with quotes, minor edits)
CSKA Moscow got off to a winning start in the Russian Premier League on Saturday as Seydou Doumbia's second-half strike secured a 1-0 victory over FC Rostov.
Latvian midfielder Aleksandrs Cauna picked out Doumbia among four Rostov defenders, and the Ivorian striker lashed the ball home from four yards out.
Doumbia was last season's top scorer with 28 goals.
"In the first half nothing really came off for us, we created a couple of chances but not too much," said CSKA midfielder Alan Dzagoev, who had a quiet game.
"But it was much more like it in the second half, we managed to score and we deserved the win," he said.
Rostov coach Miodrag Bozovic, who was taking charge for his first competitive fixture since switching from fellow Premier League side Amkar Perm in last month, admitted his side were second best.
"The transfer between defense and attack just broke down for us today," the 43 year old Montenegrin said. "That's why we couldn't create any opportunities."
CSKA dominated from the off, not allowing the visitors a single clear-cut chance, and found their rhythm inside 15 minutes.
Keisuka Honda forced a full-stretch save out of Rostov goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa with a 13th-minute free kick. The Japanese midfielder then hit a volley on the fall that Pletikosa had to tip over.
Honda hit a third effort, also from a free kick, low and to the goalkeeper's right, but Pletikosa was equal to it.
Pletikosa then kept out a veering long shot from Zoran Tosic.
The Serbian struck a fierce effort just over from a set piece two minutes from half time.
Honda saw yet another free kick sail just over to start the second half.
CSKA's Brazilian defender Mario Fernandes, a summer signing from Gremio, had a deflected shot palmed away by Pletikosa on the hour mark after bursting through down the right.
Tosic had a free kick crash off the Rostov wall on 75 minutes.
Rostov came back into it as the match wore on but lacked a cutting edge in the final third.
Chilean winger Mark Gonzalez came on in the dying minutes for CSKA to make his first competitive appearance since April 2011.
Gonzalez had a late effort saved from an acute angle.
With his substitution, CSKA had seven foreign players on the field, the first time the league's liberalized quota has been taken full advantage of since it came into effect earlier this month.
In the last few seasons the limit on non-Russian players was six.
In the 2012-13 season curtain-raiser on Friday, ten-man Lokomotiv Moscow clung on for a 3-2 win against Premier League debutants Mordovia Saransk.
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