Former Dinamo București and FC Astana boss Ioan Andone recorded his first home win as FC Aktobe manager (sportexclusiv.ro)
Week 24 review: Kairat Almaty reclaim top spot, FC Aktobe end their losing home streak, Ordabasy Shymkent fail to impress with new coach at their helm while Kaisar Kyzylorda continue their woes
Kairat Almaty hammered Itysh Pavlodar 5-2, making a proper warm up ahead of their massive European contest against French side FC Girondins de Bordeaux. Despite missing a number of first-choice players in the starting lineup and being one goal down in the opening stages of both periods, Kairat were able to outpower their opponents whose nine-game unbeaten run ended with a wallop. Evandro Roncatto and then Alassane Ndiaye gave Irtysh the lead before Islambek Kuat and Gerard Gohou cancelled it out on 15 and 67 minutes respectively. And it was a one-team display in the final quarter of hour with Gohou bagging a brace and Yermek Kuantayev and Djordje Despotović putting result beyond doubt. Vladimír Weiss' men are back on top in the title race, one point clear of their rivals.
Romanian midfielder Ciprian Deac held his nerve taking a 53rd-minute penalty to hand FC Aktobe a 1-0 home win over Ordabasy Shymkent. The visitors played their first game under Bakhtiyar Baiseyitov who replaced Viktor Kumykov following the the Russian manager's recent contract termination. Aktobe levelled FC Astana in the table with Stanimir Stoilov's outfit having a game in hand as their match against FC Atyrau have been postponed due to Astana's participation in the UEFA Champions League play-off round. "Finally, we got this long anticipated home win, collecting a very hard-fought three points," said Aktobe head coach Ioan Andone after guiding the Westerners to home triumph for the first time since his appointment.
Championship round standings
Okzhetpes Kokshetau settled themselves as Relegation group leaders by prevailing 2-1 over struggling Kaisar Kyzylorda, the host side managed to fight back after Zhasulan Moldakarayev got a thunderbolt from distance 14 minutes into the game. On 22 minutes, former Russia star Dmitry Sychyov equalised to record his debut goal for Okzhetpes, and Vladimir Mukhanov's side had to wait until closing stages to grab the victory. Luka Rotkovic found the back of the net, completing Kokshetau club’s comeback that saw rock-bottom Kaisar continue their awful streak with just three points gained from ten encounters.
Tomas Simkovic scored twice after the break to steal the show in Tobol Kostanay's 2-1 comeback win against Shakhtyor Karagandy. The Miners had the lead at half-time, following Plamen Dimov's strike in the 23rd minute but couldn't keep Tobol at bay. The hosts roared back before the hour-mark as Simkovic registered his double in the space of 11 minutes, putting his team to eighth place with just one point behind Okzhetpes. "Our lads were nervous in the first half, they wanted to redeem themselves after the loss they suffered last time out. Yet before the break and after the restart, our side got the upper hand," noted Tobol manager Sergey Maslyonov.
Zhetysu Taldykorgan beat FC Taraz 1-0 in front of home crowd, Dušan Savić hitting the winner in the 67th minute to chalk up his seventh of the campaign. Following their third victory in four, the Semirechye men moved to ninth spot while Taraz who remained winless since the beginning of July slipped to tenth and now are trailing Zhetysu by two points.
Relegation round standings
Matchday 24 results
FC Aktobe 1-0 Ordabasy Shymkent
1-0 Deac 53 (p)
Zhetysu Taldykorgan 1-0 FC Taraz
1-0 Savić 67
Okzhetpes Kokshetau 2-1 Kaisar Kyzylorda
0-1 Moldakarayev 14, 1-1 Sychyov 22, 2-1 Rotković 82
Tobol Kostanay 2-1 Shakhtyor Karagandy
0-1 Dimov 23, 1-1 Simkovic 47, 2-1 Simkovic 58
Kairat Almaty 5-2 Irtysh Pavlodar
0-1 Roncatto 7, 1-1 Kuat 15, 1-2 Ndiaye 57, 2-2 Gohou 68, 3-2 Gohou 75, 4-2 Kuantayev 78, 5-2 Despotovic 87
Ordabasy Shymkent v FC Astana
Irtysh Pavlodar v FC Aktobe
FC Atyrau v Kairat Almaty
FC Taraz v Okzhetpes Kokshetau
Shakhtyor Karagandy v Zhetysu Taldykorgan
Kaisar Kyzylorda v Tobol Kostanay
Gerard Gohou (Kairat Almaty) – 20 (3p)
Luka Rotković (Okzhetpes Kokshetau) – 11 (2p)
Djordje Despotović (Zhetysu Taldykorgan / Kairat Almaty) – 9
Sergey Khizhnichenko (FC Aktobe) – 8
Kostyantyn Dudchenko (Irtysh Pavlodar) – 7
Dušan Savić (Zhetysu Taldykorgan) – 7