FC Kuban Krasnodar kept alive their slim prospects of reaching the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with an emphatic 3-0 win against FC St Gallen.
Bottom of Group A at the start of play, Kuban move up to third and can advance if results go their way on matchday six. They can draw confidence from their performance against St Gallen. Dominant throughout, the Russian side had myriad chances but ultimately had to settle for two goals from Lorenzo Melgarejo and one apiece for Vladislav Ignatyev and Charles Kaboré.
Indeed, they never looked like a team yet to score more than once in any of their four European home games before this one. Melgarejo had already had one attempt well saved by the time he gave them a third-minute lead, controlling Anton Sosnin's pass adroitly on his chest before firing across Daniel Lopar.
The opportunities kept coming. Ignatyev headed over and shot straight at Lopar, either side of Djibril Cissé's first-time effort being kept out. St Gallen carved out openings of their own on their rare forays into opposition territory – Mario Mutsch's speculative strike and Stéphane Nater's snatched attempt – but Viktor Goncharenko's men were well on top in the interim. Melgarejo and Cissé were both thwarted by Lopar before the half was out, the latter's low drive being tipped onto a post.
Any hopes the Swiss visitors had of capitalising after riding out the storm were dashed nine minutes after the break. Ignatyev fed Ivelin Popov and, having continued his run into the area, was on hand to turn in the rebound after his team-mate's cross-shot had been parried by Lopar. Melgarejo grabbed his second in the 71st minute, poking in after Igor Armaş flicked on a Popov corner. Kaboré then iced the cake in added time, finishing from close range after Armaş nodded Arsen Khubulov's free-kick across goal.