Kairat Almaty ran out 1-0 winners over FC Astana to build on their lead atop of the Kazakhstan Premier League (fckairat.kz)
Week 26 review: FC Astana's big European debut takes its toll, Kairat Almaty are in driving seat, Okzhetpes Kokshetau restore their Relegation group lead
Following their historic start in the UEFA Champions league group stage, second-placed FC Astana couldn’t avoid a narrow 1-0 loss to another title race contenders Kairat Almaty. In the entertaining Two capitals derby at the Astana Arena, Isael found the back of the net in the counterattack 13 minutes into the second half before Tanat Nuserbayev and Patrick Twumasi both hit the woodwork for host side. The result means the league leaders Kairat opened a four-point margin over Astana, with Stanimir Stoilov’s men having a game in hand. "Kairat played well and so did our team. We deserved a goal and a point but had a bad luck," said Astana centerback Marin Aničić after the clash.
Danilo Cirino de Oliveira became the sole scorer of the Western clash with his clinical finish in the 71st minute as FC Aktobe beat FC Atyrau 1-0 in front of their own crowd. The second straight home win allowed Aktobe to equal with Astana on points and at the same time send the Oilers in the sixth position.
Despite dominating the game, Ordabasy Shymkent failed to overcome Irtysh Pavlodar, the teams drew 1-1 at the Kazhymukan Stadium in Southern Kazakhstan. Edin Junuzović broke the deadlock in the 18th minute after going one-on-one with goalkeeper David Loriya, something that wasn’t followed by putting the match in bed. Eventually, the visitors struck an leveller via the penalty from Evandro Roncatto with 11 minutes remaining. Irtysh tightened their grip on fourth place in the table while the point saw Ordabasy climb to fifth, though they are winless in five.
Championship round standings
Luka Rotković came off the bench to net twice as Okzhetpes Kokshetau cruised past Zhetysu Taldykorgan 3-0 away from home, winning back their Relegation group lead. It was former Kazakhstan international Alibek Buleshev who made the breakthrough with five minutes left in the first half before Montenegrian attacker sealed the well-deserved victory with his double in the final quarter of an hour.
Shakhtyor Karagandy and Kaisar Kyzylorda cancelled each other, tying 1-1 with the Miners’ Ukrainian striker Maksym Feshchuk responding after the break to Zhasulan Moldakarayev’s 31st-minute strike. Following the stalemate, the clubs still sit in two bottom positions and are separated by three points, with the Wolves staying behind Shakhtyor. "I think my team played well, the draw is fair result. But we were poor when taking our chances as we have a heavy mental burden," said Russian manager Fyodor Scherbachenko after his fourth competitive game as Kaisar head coach.
In a lacklustre contest of two mid-table rivals, Tobol Kostanay were held to a 0-0 draw by the visiting FC Taraz side. After the bleak performance, Tobol ended their match-to-match winning run, slipping to eighth, one point shy to Okzhetpes, while keeping their five-point cushion over Taraz and Zhetysu intact.
Relegation round standings
Matchday 26 results
Zhetysu Taldykorgan 0-3 Okzhetpes Kokshetau
0-1 Buleshev 40, 0-2 Rotković 76, 0-3 Rotković 90+1
Tobol Kostanay 0-0 FC Taraz
Shakhtyor Karagandy 1-1 Kaisar Kyzylorda
0-1 Moldakarayev 31, 1-1 Feshchuk 53
Ordabasy Shymkent 1-1 Irtysh Pavlodar
1-0 Junuzović 18, 1-1 Roncatto 79 (p)
FC Aktobe 1-0 FC Atyrau
1-0 Danilo 71
FC Astana 0-1 Kairat Almaty
0-1 Isael 58
Irtysh Pavlodar v FC Astana
FC Atyrau v Ordabasy Shymkent
Kairat Almaty v FC Aktobe
Kaisar Kyzylorda v Zhetysu Taldykorgan
FC Taraz v Shakhtyor Karagandy
Okzhetpes Kokshetau v Tobol Kostanay
Gerard Gohou (Kairat Almaty) – 21 (3p)
Luka Rotković (Okzhetpes Kokshetau) – 11 (2p)