Russian international striker Denis Popov stole the show at the weekend when he hit a hat-trick against FC Sokol Saratov to steer PFC CSKA Moskva to second place in the Russian first division.
Popov, who struck CSKA’s only goal in the 1-1 draw with Parma AC in the UEFA Cup, was on scintillating form in the pouring rain as CSKA moved ahead of defending champions FC Spartak Moskva in the standings.
Heroics in defeat
FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast lost 2-1 to FC Rostselmash Rostov-Na-Donu, despite a tremendous performance from goalkeeper Valeri Chizhov. He could not, however, prevent Alexei Zlydnev and Milan Kruscic from scoring, although Alexei Medvedev did pull one back for the hosts, whose hopes of a fourth-place finish and a UEFA Cup spot have suffered a setback.
FC Krylya Sovetov Samara took advantage of Saturn`s stumble, advancing to fourth place by beating FC Alania Vladikavkaz 1-0, Brazilian forward Gaúcho scoring in the last minute to earn three points.
Elsewhere, FC Torpedo Moskva beat FC Torpedo-ZIL Msokva 2-1, while Dmitri Bulykin`s goal earned FC Dinamo Moskva a 1-0 victory over FC Anzhi Makhachkala. SC Rotor Volgograd, meanwhile, beat FC Zenit St.Petersburg 2-1, with Valeri Esipov twice on target, but Dzhambulat Bazaev reduced the deficit. Zenit, who finished third last season, are tenth.
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