Kairat Almaty, with their newly-appointed boss Alexandr Borodyuk making his Kazakhstan debut, prevailed against FC Astana in a difficult season-opener to snatch their first ever Super Cup and the 2016 campaign first silverware.
Kazakhstan Super Cup match has been held for the ninth time on Tuesday as the Astana Arena hosted a traditional curtain-raiser in which defending league champions FC Astana met their arch-rivals, the Kazakhstan Cup winners Kairat Almaty.
Astana have bagged the previous Super Cup by beating Kairat on penalties following a goalless draw, and this term, it was a kind of déjà vu yet with quite another outcome of a dramatic post-match session.
While deciding the title by a penalty shootout, Roger Cañas and Marin Aničić struck for Astana only to see their goals cancelled out by Bauyrzhan Islamkhan and Bruno Soares before Kairat goalie Vladimir Plotnikov has saved Alexey Schyotkin's spot-kick.
Almaty side then took a 3-2 lead as Sito Riera converted his attempt but then Astana keeper Nenad Erić denied his former teammates Vitaly Li and Gerard Gohou, allowing Patrick Twumasi to score to make it 3-3.
Abzal Beisebekov’s strike and the response from Anatoly Tymoshchuk weren’t enough to break the tie and it was Serikzhan Muzhikov who committed an error which proved fatal for FC Astana, with Plotnikov diving to his right to produce a crucial stop.
The following penalty kick was a trophy-clinching effort, Kairat’s Slovak winter signing Lukáš Tesák netted firmly to secure the Super Cup for his new club in his and Borodyuk’s first official match in Kazakhstan.
It was an even encounter with few clear-cut chances in 120 minutes of football while Stanimir Stoilov's men looked more solid and dominant before the hour mark.
They left without making the breakthrough, though, as Tanat Nuserbayev saw his low shot go wide and ex-Kairat striker Djordje Despotović came narrowly close with his header after meeting Twumasi's corner.
Kairat did not create a noteworthy chance until 78th minute when substitute Yermek Kuantayev should have done better than blasting the ball directly into Erić’s head in one-on-one situation.
Both teams lacked firepower but in the final stages of the game, Borodyuk’s outfit improved offensively, with the battle going in more thrilling manner yet the goalkeepers looked far from being the busiest men on the pitch.
While Kairat tended to use the speed and technical skills of Gerard Gohou, Isael and their captain Islamkhan up front, Astana relied heavily on set pieces and aerial duels inside the box, something that wasn't a big conundrum for Plotnikov who proved a hero later with his two clinical penalty saves.
FC Astana have failed to defeat their harsh rivals at the Astana Arena in the third consecutive game as their previous encounter, which was Kairat's 2-1 victory, occurred in the Kazakhstan Cup final in November 2015 when Kairat were guided by Borodyuk’s predecessor, Vladimír Weiss.
Nevertheless, Stoilov's side will have more than one opportunity to restore their proud in the Two Capitals Derby during the upcoming Kazakhstan Premier League season.
2016 Kazakhstan Super Cup
FC Astana 0-0 (a.e.t., PSO 4-5) Kairat Almaty
08/03/2016, Astana Arena (Astana). Ref: Irmatov (UZB)
FC Astana: Erić, Beisebekov, Postnikov (Gurman 89), Aničić, Maksimović, Cañas, Twumasi, Despotović (Schyotkin 89), Shomko, Muzhikov, Nuserbayev (Shaikhov 107)
Kairat Almaty: Plotnikov, Marković, Bruno Soares, Tesák, Bakayev, Tymoshchuk, Kuantayev, Darabayev (Li 65), Isael (Sito Riera 106), Islamkhan, Gohou
PSO: 1-0 Cañas, 1-1 Islamkhan, 2-1 Aničić, 2-2 Bruno Soares, 2-2 Schyotkin (GK), 2-3 Sito Riera, 2-3 Maksimović (wide), 2-3 Li (GK), 3-3 Twumasi, 3-3 Gohou (GK), 4-3 Beisebekov, 4-4 Tymoshchuk, 4-4 Muzhikov (GK), 4-5 Tesák
YC: Marković 22, Cañas 46, Twumasi 69, Tesák 90, Tymoschuk 103, Gohou 106
Full list of the Kazakhstan Super Cup matches
1995 Yelimay Semey 2-0
2008 FC Aktobe 2-0 Tobol Kostanay
2009 The game hasn't been held as FC Aktobe had won both the league and the Cup
2010 FC Aktobe 2-0 FC Atyrau
2011 Lokomotiv Astana 2-1 Tobol Kostanay
2012 Ordabasy Shymkent 1-0 Shakhter Karagandy
2013 Shakhter Karagandy 3-2 (a.e.t.) FC Astana
2014 FC Aktobe 1-0 Shakhter Karagandy
2015 FC Astana 0-0 (a.e.t., PSO 3-2) Kairat Almaty
2016 Kairat Almaty 0-0 (a.e.t., PSO 5-4) FC Astana