MOSCOW, Russia -- Zenit Saint Petersburg have clinched their first Russian title in the post-Soviet Union era with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Ramenskoye on Sunday.
Zenit captain Anatoly Timoshuk kisses the Russian Premier League trophy after their victory at Ramenskoye.
The win means Zenit finish top of the table with 61 points, two points ahead of second-placed Spartak Moscow, who beat city rivals Dynamo 2-1. CKSA Moscow finished third on 53 points.
Zenit went ahead in the 15th minute when Radek Sirl's shot from the edge of the box deflected off a Ramenskoye defender and beat goalkeeper Antonin Kinski.
After the interval, the hosts poured forward seeking an equalizer and created several chances -- but Zenit held firm to secure their first championship since 1984 and make a hero out of Dutch coach Dick Advocaat.
Nine-times champions Spartak took the lead midway through the first-half.
Russian international striker Roman Pavyuchenko netted the opening goal in the 24th minute with a powerful shot from the edge of the six-yard box after a mix- up in the Dynamo defence.
Brazilian striker Soares Welliton made it 2-0 seven minutes after halftime, heading home Pavlyuchenko's precise cross. Dynamo reduced the arrears in the 71st minute, when Spartak midfielder Radoslav Kovac scored an own goal.
Meanwhile, Rostov and Krasnodar were relegated fronm the Premier League. E-mail to a friend
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