Shakhter Karagandy the new champions
The Shakhter Karagandy team is celebrating this week’s victory over Kaisar Kyzylorda in the final of the Kazakhstan Football Premier League Championships.
It was a hotly-contested match from the start, with a penalty against the Shakhter team just five minutes into the game. Goalkeeper Nemanya Džodžo successfully defended against Kaisar striker Roger Canas.
Shakhter kept up the pressure throughout the first half and there was a nail-biting moment when Sergey Gridin managed to cut through the Kaisar defense but his shot was wide of the goal.
Džodžo showed his prowess by keeping out several further attempts by Shakhter strikers in the first half. Kaisar also had a few chances to score after catching Shakhter on some counter attacks, but Shakhter goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin ably kept out all attempts.
After the half-time talk with coach Viktor Kumykov, Shakhter displayed renewed energy but initially failed to capitalize on some chances. The tide turned with a heart-stopping two goals in the space of two minutes from Maksat Bayzhanov. A third goal from Kukeev, just minutes before the final whistle, clinched a decisive 3:0 victory for Shakhter Karagandy.
Football was brought to Kazakshtan by British merchants before World War I and by the early 1930s Kazakh club sides were playing in the Soviet leagues. A Kazakh SSR Football Federation was established in 1959 and in 1976 the Kazakhstan team triumphed in the Soviet First League.
After independence was declared in 1991, the Football Association of Kazakhstan was set up and soon accepted into FIFA. The renamed Football Federation of Kazakhstan (FFK) went on to join UEFA in 2002. The FFK is now the main governing body of football in Kazakhstan, organizing men’s and women’s national teams.