Irtysh Pavlodar (white) were able to stun title holders FC Astana 2-1 in a home game (fcirtysh.kz)
Week 27 review: Kairat Almaty in full control in the title race, FC Astana suffer another defeat, Kaisar Kyzylorda back in the thick of the battle against the drop
League leaders Kairat Almaty clinched another three points by frustrating ten-men FC Aktobe 2-1 on home soil to extend their cushion to seven points. In the brilliant opening stages, Isael and Gerard Gohou both struck for Vladimír Weiss' charges and Aktobe could only cut the deficit in the second half. Danilo was on target to give the visitors a glimpse of hope, however it was ruined with Yury Logvinenko's straight red card in the 70th minute. It is worth noting that the strike from Gohou marked Kairat’s 1000th goal in the Kazakhstan top flight and Aktobe boss Ioan Andone mentioned Fair Play issues as the host team refused to stop the game due to opponent player's injury to open the scoring.
FC Astana have lost for the second time in a row, their title hopes receiving another massive blow with succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at Irtysh Pavlodar. Alassane Ndiaye and Carlos Fonseca scored before the interval as the hosts took a two-goal lead. Nemanja Maksimović reduced the arrears six minutes after the interval while Astana's equaliser never came, however the reigning champions still have one game in hand. "It was very hard, energetic and intense game. Astana have good players, and I am happy that we managed to got the win. I want to thank lads for their efforts, commitment and ambitionsю They are real stand up guys," said Irtysh manager Dimitar Dimitrov.
Edin Junuzović made the difference with his brace in Ordabasy Shymkent's 3-1 comeback away win over FC Atyrau, the result that left the Oilers four points adrift of fifth-placed Bakhtiyar Baiseyitov's outfit. In the first 30 minutes, the opposing sides exchanged the goals, the opener from Volodymyr Arzhanov was responded by Aleksandar Simčević. Then Junuzović stepped up to hit between the 38th and 61st minute, handing the Southerners their first victory since July.
Championship round standings
Tomas Simkovic also registered a double as Tobol Kostanay won 2-1 at Okzhetpes Kokshetau to reclaim the Relegation group lead. The hosts put themselves if front on 22 minutes through Miras Tuliyev but Tobol managed to fight back with their Austrian midfielder hitting either side of the break. Collecting nine points from last 12, Kostanay club leapfrogged Okzhetpes who now sit eighth.
Meanwhile, FC Taraz overcame second-bottom Shakhtyor Karagandy 2-0 to end their seven-game winless run. Yevgeny Yarovenko's men took the lead with 13 minutes gone when the Miners' defender Plamen Dimov was dismissed for handball in the penalty area before Izu Azuka scored from the spot. The second came in the 79th minute, substitute Oleksandr Pyschur sealing the victory with a clinical volley for his seventh goal of the season.
At the same time, Kaisar Kyzylorda snapped their 12-game duck with a convincing 3-1 home win against Zhetysu Taldykorgan. Martin Klein, Zhasulan Moldakarayev and Gleb Kalinin netted for Kaisar while the Semirechye were able to produce only Bauyrzhan Turysbek's consolation effort on the stroke of full-time. As it stands, the Wolves are level with Shakhtyor in the league table, trailing them only by number of wins.
Relegation round standings
Matchday 27 results
Irtysh Pavlodar 2-1 FC Astana
1-0 Ndiaye 5, 2-0 Fonseca 33, 2-1 Maksimović 51
FC Atyrau 1-3 Ordabasy Shymkent
1-0 Arzhanov 16, 1-1 Simčević 30, 1-2 Junuzović 38, 1-3 Junuzović 61
FC Taraz 2-0 Shakhtyor Karagandy
1-0 Azuka 13 (p), 2-0 Pyschur 79
RC: Dimov 12 (Shakhtyor)
Kaisar Kyzylorda 3-1 Zhetysu Taldykorgan
1-0 Klein 10, 2-0 Moldakarayev 58, 3-0 Kalinin 70, 3-1 Turysbek 90
Okzhetpes Kokshetau 1-2 Tobol Kostanay
1-0 Tuliyev 22, 1-1 Simkovic 44, 1-2 Simkovic 56
Kairat Almaty 2-1 FC Aktobe
1-0 Isael 10, 2-0 Gohou 13, 2-1 Danilo 59
RC: Logvinenko 70 (Aktobe)
Ordabasy Shymkent v FC Aktobe
Shakhter Karagandy v Tobol Kostanay
Kaisar Kyzylorda v Okzhetpes Kokshetau
FC Taraz v Zhetysu Taldykorgan
Irtysh Pavlodar v Kairat Almaty
FC Atyrau v FC Astana