MOSCOW, November 18 (R-Sport) - FC Rostov goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa was the hero Sunday to hold Anzhi Makhachkala to a goalless draw in Dagestan.
Russian Premier League leaders CSKA Moscow reap the benefits of Anzhi dropping points as they keep a five-point cushion at the top.
That lead could change depending on an FA decision on who should be awarded the points from third-placed Zenit’s match against Dynamo Moscow on Saturday, which was abandoned following an attack on Dynamo’s goalkeeper.
Rostov rise a place to 12th.
Anzhi laid siege to the Rostov goal for large periods of the match, but were let down by their own poor finishing and kept at bay by Pletikosa’s heroics.
The Croatia keeper pulled off two stunning reaction saves, including an acrobatic one-handed stop, in the dying minutes to deny local youngster Serder Sederov’s powerful shots.
Anzhi captain Samuel Eto’o enjoyed a string of chances throughout the match, but failed to put any of them away.
The ex-Barcelona striker hit the bar with a right-foot effort on 15 minutes and saw a powerful downward header caught by Pletikosa 20 minutes from time.
Rostov came closest on 53 minutes when Edgaras Cesnauskis delivered a pinpoint left-wing cross that Evgeny Starikov’s glancing header sent narrowly wide of the post.
Razvan Cocis almost grabbed an 83rd-minute winner for Rostov, but headed Ivan Getigezhev cross over the bar, while Anzhi missed a chance to strike when the ball pinballed around the Rostov box soon after.
Earlier in the day, CSKA Moscow went six points clear at the top with a 3-0 dismantling of lowly Amkar Perm, before FC Kuban beat Mordovia Saransk by the same scoreline.
On Saturday, FC Volga held Spartak Moscow to a 1-1 draw, and Rubin Kazan beat Alania Vladikavkaz 2-0.
Later Sunday, Anzhi Makhachkala can shrink CSKA's lead to three points against FC Rostov.
Monday sees Lokomotiv Moscow visit Krylya Sovetov and FC Krasnodar host Terek Grozny.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.