Moscow: Last season`s runners-up CSKA Moscow began their Russian Premier League campaign with a 1-0 victory over Rubin Kazan on Saturday.
The new season had already been overshadowed by a racism scandal, with Ghanaian former Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong being sent off for responding to alleged monkey chants during FC Ufa`s 2-2 draw at Spartak Moscow on Friday.
But hosts CSKA were purely focused on getting their season off on the right track at the Khimki Arena.
The Moscow side, who will face Czech club Sparta Prague in the Champions League third qualifying round later this month, secured the points thanks to Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa`s late goal.
"It was a very difficult match just like we expected," said CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky.
"Rubin have likely learnt their lesson from our last Premiership match (that CSKA won 3-0)."
The Red Army side dominated from the start and created a series of chances in front of their home supporters with midfielders Pontus Wernbloom and Zoran Tosic hitting the woodwork on three occasions between them in the first half.
The 2014 champions squandered further chances after the break before Musa received a clever back-heel by Georgi Milanov in the area and crashed the ball past visiting `keeper Sergei Ryzhikov with three minutes to go.
In the other matches on Saturday, Rostov, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, played out a 1-1 draw with Terek Grozny.
Malian midfielder Moussa Doumbia put Rostov ahead in the 38th minute with an acrobatic volley from inside the area.
But the visitors pressed and forward Igor Lebedenko levelled proceedings in the 70th minute, sweeping home an Ismail Aissati cross.
Reigning champions Zenit St Petersburg begin the defence of their title at home to Dynamo Moscow on Sunday.