Last-minute Volkov header seals rip-roaring rollercoaster

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Rubin Kazan 2-3 Khimki
Friday 1 April, AkBars Arena

Goals: Rubin - Onugkha 56’, Tikhy OG 84’; Khimki - Glushakov 60’, Kukharchuk 62’, Volkov 90’
Man of the Match: Ilya Kukharchuk (Khimki)

Only a stunning save from Yuri Dyupin to deny Aleksandr Rudenko from close range at the near post kept the scores level in a tightly-fought first half.

As the snow started to fall after half time, it was clear a moment of brilliance would be required to split the sides - and German Onugkha duly delivered. Latching onto a simple but unthreatening ball from Aleksandr Zuev and still faced with most of the Khimki defence, the forward took his time before cutting inside and curling a beauty beyond Ilya Lantratov’s reach.

Within six minutes though Rubin were stunned by a lightning-quick blast. Ilya Kukharchuk drew a full-stretch dive out of Dyupin, but the hosts’ keeper could only tip it onto the post before seeing it bounce back into the middle of the six-yard box. Denis Glushakov roared in to smash home the equaliser for his eighth goal of the season.

Within seconds the visitors were in front. Reziuan Mirzov slid a perfectly timed through-ball that Montesar Talbi could only deflect into Kukharchuk’s path, allowing the winger to slot a well-placed finish across Dyupin.

As the minutes slipped by towards a vital win for Sergey Yuran’s men, disaster struck. Leon Musaev suddenly found himself in plenty of space after a cleared corner was gifted back into the area; one touch steadied possession, before a second thrashed the ball at Lantratov, rebounding off Dmitry Tikhy and deflecting agonisingly into the net.

Zakhar Volkov had other ideas though. In the last minute of normal time, substitute Brian Idowu swung a deep cross towards the back post, where the Belarusian planted a firm header into the bottom corner.

Both Mirzov and Glushakov had close-range efforts blocked from a yard or two out by Dyupin’s stunning double save, but it was to no avail as Rubin slumped to their seventh defeat in eight RPL matches.

Rubin stay 10th on 25points, while Khimki escape the automatic drop zone into 13th on 21 points.

Next RPL fixtures: Saturday 9 April - Khimki vs CSKA Moscow; Rubin vs Krasnodar

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