Sergey Khizhnichenko was instrumental to FC Aktobe's 4-2 triumph over visiting Okzhetpes Kokshetau (sport.pl)
Week 19 Review: FC Aktobe are still invincible, Kairat Almaty are in impressive form, FC Atyrau are lucky to save the point against consistent Irtysh Pavlodar
Sergey Khizhnichenko was the hero of the night with a hat-trick to his name as league leaders FC Aktobe rolled to a 4-2 comeback win against Okzhetpes Kokshetau. The promoted side took the lead after Ruslan Sakhalbayev's effort in the 20th minute and Vladimir Gazzayev's team didn't react well until the restart when the game saw a complete turnover. The visitors were thrashed with Valery Korobkin finding an equaliser and Khizhnichenko firing between 50th and 64th minute to give Aktobe a two-goal cushion. Luka Rotković quickly reduced the arrears but Khizhnichenko all but ended Okzhetpes' hopes with six minutes remaining.
Buoyed by fabulous signing of former FC Bayern München midfield anchorman Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in addition to their inspiring victory over Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League, Kairat Almaty dismantled Shakhtyor Karagandy 5-0 in an away match to maintain second spot in the table. Despite missing Gerard Gohou and Bauyrzhan Islamkhan ahead of the second leg against Red Star, Kairat produced a spectacular performance and became Premier League's best attacking club (2.05 goals per game). Serginho set the tone of the encounter just six minutes into it putting Vladimír Weiss' men in front via penalty kick before Sito Riera hit the brace to extend the margin. On 72 minutes, Momodou Ceesay struck the fourth before Zhambyl Kukeyev joined the party seven minutes from time to add to Shakhtyor's pain.
Defending champions FC Astana proved too strong for Kaisar Kyzylorda as the Wolves fell 2-0 at the Astana Arena to continue their pursuit for Kairat, trailing Almaty side by one point. With 25 minutes gone, Kaisar's Rakhimzhan Rozybakiyev scored an own goal and Tanat Nuserbayev doubled the lead shortly after the interval. "It's a shame we couldn't do what we have planned in terms of counterattacks. And we conceded unjustifiable errors that led to goals, it was all about the nervousness of our inexperienced players," said Kaisar boss Dmitry Ogay.
FC Atyrau (who have been awarded a 3-0 win over Zhetysu Taldykorgan instead of 2-1 defeat after the Semirechye club fielded Gediminas Vičius in violation of the league regulations during Matchday 17) shared the spoils with eighth-placed Irtysh Pavlodar in an even game which ended with a 0-0 scoreline. As a result, the Oilers remain in top four while Dimitar Dimitrov's side stretched their unbeaten run to five matches. It is worth noting that Samat Smakov failed to convert a penalty in the 87th minute, missing a golden opportunity to win the encounter for Irtysh.
Serhiy Malyi and Azat Nurgaliyev netted either side of half-time as Ordabasy Shymkent earned a 2-0 victory over Tobol Kostanay. The Southerners arrested their four-match winless streak to keep the pressure on FC Atyrau while Tobol, defeated in four games from their last six, dropped to ninth place.
Following their aforementioned punishment, Zhetysu Taldykorgan had no answer to second-period goals from Alisher Suley and Oleksandr Pyschur in an away 2-0 setback to FC Taraz. As Zhetysu's strugglings continues, Zhambyl side lifted to seventh position having won two from their three matches. "Although Zhetysu are relegation battlers, they looked good in their last four games and I made my players aware of a difficult match. We dominated the first half yet didn't take our chances. So I said to lads that we can't miss opportunities and Alisher Suley scored a nice goal, his maiden one. Then we found ourselves under pressure but our helper-outer Pyschur added the second to make things easier for us," said FC Taraz manager Yevgeny Yarovenko.
Matchday 19 results
FC Taraz 2-0 Zhetysu Taldykorgan
1-0 Suley 61, 2-0 Pyschur 84
FC Astana 2-0 Kaisar Kyzylorda
1-0 Rozybakiyev 26 (og), 2-0 Nuserbayev 48
FC Atyrau 0-0 Irtysh Pavlodar
Shakhtyor Karagandy 0-5 Kairat Almaty
0-1 Serginho 6 (p), 0-2 Sito Riera 13, 0-3 Sito Riera 58, 0-4 Ceesay 72, 0-5 Kukeyev 83
Ordabasy Shymkent 2-0 Tobol Kostanay
1-0 Malyi 45+2, 2-0 Nurgaliyev 68
FC Aktobe 4-2 Okzhetpes Kokshetau
0-1 Sakhalbayev 20, 1-1 Korobkin 48, 2-1 Khizhnichenko 50, 3-1 Khizhnichenko 64, 3-2 Rotković 67, 4-2 Khizhnichenko 84
Gerard Gohou (Kairat Almaty) – 18 (3p)
Luka Rotković (Okzhetpes Kokshetau) – 8 (1)
Sergey Khizhnichenko (FC Aktobe) – 7
Dušan Savić (Zhetysu Taldykorgan) – 7
Tobol Kostanay v FC Astana
Okzhetpes Kokshetau v FC Taraz
Shakhtyor Karagandy v FC Atyrau
Kairat Almaty v Kaisar Kyzylorda
Irtysh Pavlodar v FC Aktobe
Zhetysu Taldykorgan v Ordabasy Shymkent