Isael (10) and his Kairat Almaty teammates failed to find a breakthrough in a 0-0 draw with FC Atyrau at the Central Stadium on Saturday (kpfl.kz)
Week 29: with three matchdays to spare, FC Astana close the gap on Kairat Almaty in the title race, FC Aktobe enjoy a Brazilian-inspired win, and Shakhtyor Karagandy prove to be the only side to find the back of the net in the bottom six
The table toppers Kairat Almaty let two points go to end their massive 12-match winning home run in all competitions with a dour 0-0 stalemate against a stubborn FC Atyrau side. Vladimír Weiss’ men dominated the visitors, carving out a number of chances only to see all of them missed. The wasteful display culminated in Gerard Gohou’s effort against the woodwork in the 88th minute. Almaty club remain at summit, however their cushion reduced to five points, with their biggest chasers having played a game less.
FC Astana capitalised on Kairat’s misfortunes as the defending champions grabbed a hard-earned 2-1 win over Ordabasy Shymkent at the Astana Arena. Baurzhan Jolchiyev set up both capital city side’s strikes with his crosses that triggered Serhiy Malyi’s 19th-minute own goal and a header from Roger Cañas who doubled the lead just before the hour-mark. Ordabasy came back into it, Yerkebulan Tungyshbayev firing home on 71 minutes but Stanimir Stoilov’s charges then held on to a slim victory. "The host team haven’t surpass us. So I think we deserved at least a draw rather than a defeat," lamented Ordabasy glovesman Sergey Boichenko.
Brazilian attackers Marcos Pizzelli and Danilo Cirino outshot Irtysh Pavlodar to give FC Aktobe a late 3-2 triumph in a dramatic home encounter. Inside the opening third of the second half, Pizzelli broke the deadlock and Danilo added another goal to increase the margin. Irtysh reacted impressively in a four-minute spell through Samat Smakov and Kostyantyn Dudchenko, the former converting the penalty before the latter stunned the home crowd with a quick leveller. However, it was the Western outfit who managed to steal the points as Danilo struck to win the game three minutes into the injury-time.
Championship round standings
In a relegation battle, six teams produced just one goal in three meetings on Sunday. Andrey Karpovich scored the one in Shakhtyor Karagandy’s narrow 1-0 away win against Zhetysu Taldykorgan. The result allowed the Miners to snap their three-game winless streak while Semirechye club exended their losing run to five and remain pointless since the beginning of the autumn.
Elsewhere, Okzhetpes Kokshetau tied 0-0 with FC Taraz while Tobol Kostanay couldn’t cruise past Kaisar Kyzylorda in a clash that also ended in a goalless draw. "The first thing we wanted was a solid defensive performance ’cause we have lost our center backs [Kairat] Nurdauletov who suffered a crucial ligaments injury and captain [Martin] Klein was suspended. So I’m happy with [Sergey] Strukov as he had to cover this position for the first time in his career. We tried to be tight in defence and hit them on the counter, and the draw is a fair result," said Kaisar manager Fyodor Scherbachenko.
Consequently, Shakhtyor climbed into 10th spot, opening up a two-point gap over Zhetysu and Kaisar, two bottom outfits as it stands. The group leaders Tobol keep sitting above eighth-placed Okzhetpes with the same two-point cushion.
Relegation round standings
Matchday 29 results
FC Astana 2-1 Ordabasy Shymkent
1-0 Malyi 19 (og), 2-0 Cañas 58, 2-1 Tungyshbayev 71
FC Aktobe 3-2 Irtysh Pavlodar
1-0 Pizzelli 49, 2-0 Danilo 59, 2-1 Smakov 65 (p), 2-2 Dudchenko 69, 3-2 Danilo 90+3
Kairat Almaty 0-0 FC Atyrau
Zhetysu Taldykorgan 0-1 Shakhtyor Karagandy
0-1 Karpovich 78
Okzhetpes Kokshetau 0-0 FC Taraz
Tobol Kostanay 0-0 Kaisar Kyzylorda
Kaisar Kyzylorda v Shakhtyor Karagandy
FC Taraz v Tobol Kostanay
Okzhetpes Kokshetau v Zhetysu Taldykorgan
Irtysh Pavlodar v Ordabasy Shymkent
FC Atyrau v FC Aktobe
Kairat Almaty v FC Astana