MOSCOW: Sergei Terekhov scored the only goal as Orenburg won 1-0 at Rostov on Saturday to deny the hosts the chance to draw to within a point of Russian Premier League leaders Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Defeat kept Rostov four points adrift in third, with Zenit in action at home to second-placed Krasnodar on Sunday.
“The players were all very selfless today. Of course we were a bit lucky, as it’s very difficult to beat such tough opponents without a great deal of luck,” Orenburg head coach Vladimir Fedotov said.
Orenburg hit the post through Serbian striker Đorđe Despotović after just 20 seconds, but the visitors grabbed the lead on 11 minutes when left wing-back Terekhov headed in a cross by Andrei Malykh.
Rostov pressed for an equaliser in the second half but couldn’t find a way past Orenburg goalkeeper Yevgeny Frolov as their six-game unbeaten run came to an end.
“After beating Spartak last week we came into this game overconfident,” Rostov boss Valery Karpin said. “We paid the price for it, allowing Orenburg to score an early opener.”
Elsewhere, two-time former champions Rubin Kazan overcame Ural Yekaterinburg 1-0 to go fourth.
Iranian forward Sardar Azmoun netted Rubin’s winning goal in the 21st minute with a header from a corner.
Dynamo Moscow dropped into the relegation play-off places following a 1-0 loss at Samara.