Kairat's woes continue despite Andrey Arshavin arrival, Talgat Baisufinov in the catbird seat, duo leaders in the league table and top scorers list and another talking points from KPL Sunday action.
Irtysh stretched their great start to the season with a 3-0 home win over FC Atyrau, the result coming after strugglings Dimitar Dimitrov's charges had before the interval. In the second half, Pavlodar club, however, prevailed over the Oilers and three victories from three preserved them on top above FC Astana on goal difference.
In neighbouring Zatobolsk, Tobol registered an identical numbers on the scoreboard to defeat Shakhter Karagandy, something that allowed Dmitry Ogay's men clinch the third spot. It means that the Week 2's Atyrau match weather disruption hadn't harm the team's composure as they looked in control despite 20-day dead cycle. And by the way, Tobol had some lineup issues. "The result is very important for us as we prepared to the game without seven players", stressed Ogay.
David Loriya & Vladimir Loginovsky
Irtysh and Tobol Kostanay conceded none since the start of the season, and that's a reason for hailing their goalkeepers. Kazakhstan international David Loriya remains unbeaten for all 270 league minutes inside the Irtysh's pipes, while Vladimir Loginovsky kept one clean sheet less as his Tobol side have one game in hand.
FC Astana came out 1-0 winners against FC Aktobe following late half volley from Twumasi which was a culmination of the champions' piling pressure. The Ghanaian received a portion of criticism for the lack of spark in the early stages of the season but this time responded in best possible way – by scoring a decisive goal.
Azat Nurgaliyev & Edin Junuzović
Without their coach Bakhtiyar Baiseitov who has been serving his suspension for pitch invasion in the Week 2 game, Ordabasy Shymkent beat Zhetysu Taldykorgan 2-1 in an away clash. Nurgaliyev and Junuzović fired for the visitors to take the joint lead in the league scoring ranks. Now there are six goals between them – all Ordabasy's season tally – with each having three strikes to his name.
Former FC Aktobe manager Vladimir Mukhanov who had tasted big success with the Red and Whites confirms his well-respected status at Okzhetpes where he's trying to build a competitive team in his second season. And the 2016 start looks promising, with Kokshetau men climbing to fifth thanks to their 3-1 victory against FC Taraz.
After his inspiring debut at the helm of Kazakhstan national team, Talgat Baisufinov has led his permanent charges, Akzhayik Oral, to a stunning 2-1 win over league favourites Kairat Almaty. The Western outfit grabbed their first goals and points of the campaign to escape from bottom to seventh. It seems like Baisufinov now is experiencing one of the most optimistic spells of his coaching career.
Kairat have lost in Uralsk to extend their winless streak but, aside Andrey Arshavin's introduction, had a bright spot in Vitaly Li. It is fair to say that this season, a 22-year-old forward is developing into a 'super sub' as he scored his second goal after coming off the bench.
Losing a must-win matchup, the Russian manager took another painful blow as Kairat boss, having now a miserable record of two defeats and a draw in three KPL matches. The narrow Super Cup success didn't mitigate the league frustration since Kairat are already eight points behind their supposed rivals Astana. "Perhaps, we have to draw conclusions whether I should continue or not," lamented Borodyuk whose stint at Almaty club has been launched just a month ago.
In their home encounter against Okzhetpes, Taraz lost for the first time this term, being unable to prevent thier opponents from hitting two goals inside three minutes towards the end of it. "One of the reason of our loss was our key striker Ihar Zyankovich's absense through injury, and we also missed suspended Oleg Nedashkovsky," said Taraz manager Nurmat Mirzabayev.
The Pitmen have found themselves in the deepest pit after they were seen off by Tobol. The Slovak manager Jozef Vukušič couldn't provide an immediate impact with Shakhter falling into relegation mire. However, with one point won, the Central Kazakhstan club now have the same amount as Kairat, Aktobe and Atyrau.
Léandre Tawamba & Desley Ubbink
Week 3 saw only half of the four penalties converted into goals. Two losers were Kairat newcomer Tawamba with his poor kick that could level the Akzhayik match in the dying minutes (it was Arshavin who has won it) and Shakhter's Ubbink with his failure from the spot against Tobol. In both cases, penalty takers were denied by goalkeepers.