Rubin Kazan have completed a comfortable 4-1 win over visiting Shamrock Rovers to boost their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Group A outsiders, Shamrock, who have failed to bag a single point in their four previous games in the tournament, never stood a chance on a cold night in Kazan.
The visitors equalized two minutes after Nelson Valdez netted Rubin’s opener in the tenth minute. The Irish team’s defender Ken Oman headed in after Billy Dennehy’s free-kick to make it 1-1.
But it was all Rubin after that, with Bebras Natcho restoring the home side’s lead ten minutes before the break.
After the restart, Valdez eluded Shamrock’s offside trap to complete his brace, and Obafemi Martins made it 4-1by putting the ball into an empty net after a ricochet.
The victory sees Rubin on ten points after five games, and a draw away at PAOK on the final matchday will be enough to see them progress to the next round.
Tottenham lost to Group A leaders PAOK 2-1 in London to put themselves in a rally tough situation. The Englishmen now need to beat Shamrock with a five-goal difference and hope Rubin lose away in Greece.
Another Russian Europa League contender, Lokomotiv, will join in the Europa League action on Thursday.
The Muscovites take the field against Sturm Graz knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the spring phase of the competition.