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Dynamo Moscow, one of Russia's oldest and most famous clubs, moved
Dynamo Moscow, one of Russia's oldest and most famous clubs, moved closer to their first appearance in the Champions League after a 2-0 win on Sunday over Vladivostok's Luch-Energiya.

The win, courtesy of a goal in each half by Dmitry Khokhlov and Alexander Dimidko, means that Dynamo are now guaranteed a place in the UEFA Cup, Europe's second most prestigious club competition

However, in the year that they celebrate their 85th anniversary, Dynamo will be hoping that they can gatecrash the elite gathering that is the Champions League.

Dynamo have their roots in a factory club, founded in 1897 by an expatriate Englishman, Clement Charnock. A Blackburn Rovers supporter, Charnock's side likewise turned out in blue and white, colors Dynamo continue to wear to this day.

In 1903 that team became OKS Moskva, and in 1923, after the Bolshevik Revolution, the side was officially renamed Dynamo Moscow and was incorporated into the Dynamo Sports Society, set up by Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the notorious Cheka, one of the forerunners to the KGB.

The club was later supported by another infamous Soviet figure, Stalin's sadistic secret police chief, Lavrenty Beria. During the Soviet-era, Dynamo won 11 titles, including four in the 1950s.

Despite some massive investment in recent years, the club has struggled. In 2005, Dynamo underwent a dramatic overhaul, financed by their then-president Alexei Fedorichev and a sponsorship deal with Xerox, going on a spending spree which would see them part with more than $100 million.

Nine Portuguese players arrived at the club, most of them internationals, including the then-Champions League holders Maniche and Costinha from Porto. However, Dynamo failed to even gain a UEFA Cup spot, finishing mid-table.

This year, despite Zenit St. Petersburg recently poaching of Danny, one of the few Portuguese players to have remained at the club after the 2005 season and the side's brightest talent, Dynamo have flourished, their combination of seasoned Russian ex-internationals and young players clicking.

As for Zenit, they are currently in fifth after being held 1-1 by fourth-placed Amkar from Russia's Urals.

Dynamo and Zenit are set to clash in Russia's second capital on Sunday, but even defeat for the Muscovites will leave them needing just a win against lower-table side Tom Tomsk on November 22 to seal third place and a Champions League spot. If results go their way, a point could even be enough in that match.

Third place would see Dynamo forced to start their Champions League campaign from the 2nd qualifying round. Second place, currently held on goal difference by 2005 UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moscow, brings with it an automatic spot in the lucrative and prestigious group stages. CSKA play the unpredictable Moscow FC tonight.

Rubin FC who secured the title last week lost 3-1 at home to Terek Grozny on Sunday.

In the 2009/10 season, for the first time, the top three teams in the Russian Premier League will qualify for the Champions League. The top two clubs will go into the group stages, with the third-placed team starting in the second qualifying round. The fourth- and fifth-placed teams will enter the UEFA Cup, while the bottom two sides are relegated.

The Russian season runs from March to November.

Weekend results

Rubin 1-3 Terek Grozny

Dynamo Moscow 2-0 Luch Energiya

Amkar 1-1 Zenit

Spartak 0-1 Lokomotiv

Khimki 1-1 Tom Tomsk

Krilya Sovetov 2-0 Shinnik

Table - (After 28 games unless stated)

Rubin - 60

CSKA Moscow - 50 (27 games)

Dynamo Moscow - 50

Amkar - 45

Zenit St Petersburg - 44

Krilya Sovetov -44

Spartak Moscow - 43

Lokomotiv Moscow - 41

FC Moskva -35 (27 games)

Terek Grozny -34

Spartak Nalchik - 31

Saturn -31

Tom Tomsk -29

Khimki -24

Luch-Energiya -20

Shinnik -18

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