Moscow, May 27 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Premier League champions CSKA Moscow ended their season on a low note with a 0-3 defeat to relegation candidates FC Rostov.
CSKA, who sealed the title in a goalless draw with FC Kuban last week, finish two points ahead of second-placed Zenit St. Petersburg, who drew 0-0 with Amkar Perm.
That margin means Zenit’s loss by default to Dynamo Moscow over firework-throwing in November and the subsequent legal battle was crucial to deciding the title race.
Gambian midfielder Guelor Kanga Kaku was the hero for Rostov Sunday, setting up the first with a smart through ball for Dmitry Poloz to finish calmly in the 19th minute.
Kanga got his name on the score sheet on the stroke of half-time, going one-on-one with CSKA goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov and stroking the ball into the net. Rostov’s two-goal advantage at the break came despite just 38 percent first-half possession.
For the third, Timofei Kalachev headed in at the far post off a deep cross from Danko Lazovic, who played the last game of his spell on loan from Zenit.
CSKA’s top goalscorer this season, pacy Nigerian Ahmed Musa, spurned two good chances, most notably when he contrived to miss an open goal in the 17th minute with Rostov keeper Stipe Pletikosa beaten.
CSKA rested a number of players including striker Vagner Love and first-choice goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev ahead of Saturday’s Russian Cup final against Anzhi Makhachkala.
The defeat had a silver lining as striker Tomas Necid made his first appearance of an injury-plagued season when he came on off the bench.