Portugal international João Mário scored his first goal for Lokomotiv Moscow on Friday evening as the Russians warmed up for their midweek trip to Juventus with a 2-0 win over Akhmat Grozny.

Lokomotiv now lead the Premier League by three points after the opening game of matchday 13 in Russia, while the goal for Mário on his eighth appearance for the club following a summer move from Inter should give the former Sporting man a huge confidence boost.

The 26-year-old could scarcely have had an easier task in claiming his first Russian goal, with a simple tap-in five minutes from time putting the seal on Lokomotiv’s fifth straight league win. Aleksandr Kolomeytsev had scored the opener midway through the first half for the visiting side, who also had Portugal striker Eder in their line-up.

Seleção duo João Mário and Eder will travel with Lokomotiv to Turin on Tuesday to meet Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus in Group D of the Champions League. The Russians have three points from the opening two games thanks to an impressive away victory in Germany over Bayer Leverkusen on matchday one; Atletico Madrid, who beat Lokomotiv in Moscow, make up the section.

By Sean Gillen

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“It’s a group with the three winners of the last three major tournaments. But we believe in our possibilities and we believe we can win.”

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