Matchday stories: Gerard Gohou continues his stunning goalscoring form for Kairat, Stoycho Mladenov remains the coach to beat at Atyrau, David Loriya preserves a point for Irtysh, Talgat Baisufinov gets tired with Akzhayik troubles.
Kakhaber Tskhadaze's men were the only side among league's top five who managed to win last time out. While the rivals (FC Astana, Irtysh Pvalodar, Ordabasy Shymkent and Okzhetpes Kokshetau) cancelled each other, Kairat picked up maximum point haul from their trip to Aktobe. More than that, it was a dominant 6-2 victory which means Almaty club have won nine times and drew once in the past 10 outings, scoring 34 and conceding 9! "I am glad that we score a lot, although we tend to lack some concentration after taking the lead," said Tskhadadze.
The leading man in both Kairat's and KPL's scoring charts is Gerard 'Gerry' Gohou. Against FC Aktobe, the Ivorian struck two goals, his third brace of the season, taking his current league tally to 12, three more than Irtysh Pavlodar hitman Roman Murtazayev and Zhetysu Taldykorgan finisher Dušan Savić have. Fed by his prolific partners Andrey Arshavin, Bauyrzhan Islamkhan and Isael, Gohou saw his goalscoring run in the league action extend to six consecutive matches.
Aleksandar Damčevski got the winner against FC Taraz to lift FC Atyrau into top six. The Oilers' new manager Stoycho Mladenov is making miracles at the club – in his three games in charge, the Bulgarian guided the team to three wins. After Ordabasy and Okzhetpes splitted the points in a thrilling face-to-face clash, Atyrau are set to chase that 'O2' pair which sit fourth and fifth at the moment.
Despite being in control, it wasn't an easy day at the office for FC Astana who were held on by Irtysh Pavlodar. Dimitar Dimitrov's side, even doing without a few regulars, have confirmed they are a tough nut to crack and a lion's share of credit should go to their glovesman. David Loriya proved to be their MVP by delivering a string of great stops to deny Astana, allowing Irtysh to stop reigning champions' home winning streak and leave the capital city with a precious 1-1 draw that kept them second in the league.
David Loriya was named MOTM by Irtysh Pavlodar fans after a 1-1 tie with FC Astana
Лория признан лучшим игроком «Иртыша» в матче с «Астаной» / / Лучшим игроком «Иртыша» по итогам матча 17 тура ка.. https://t.co/rOnhKCryhO— ФК «Иртыш» Павлодар (@Irtysh_Pavlodar) 21 июня 2016 г.
A very tight game between Zhetysu Taldykorgan and Tobol seemed to be doomed to a scoreless tie, but Omari Tetradze's team had other ideas. They eventually found a breakthrough in injury time when Tomas Simkovic held his nerve to power a penalty kick past the goalkeeper Andrey Pasechenko. A 1-0 away win is the third victory in their last four matches, a notable improvement for seventh-placed Tobol who boosted their chances of getting a Championship round football come fall.
It's obvious that the Central Kazakhstan club have the worst attack in the league. Prior to their meeting with Akzhayik Oral at home, Jozef Vukušič's men had scored just five goals, at least twice lower amount when compared to any of the rest of the league. But in the last gameweek, Nikola Vasiljević's opener and a double from Desley Ubbink effectively put the game out of reach, and a 3-1 triumph has provided a strong addition to Shakhter's surviving plans with exactly what they needed amid recent struggles – goals and confidence.
Didar Zhalmukan converted Aktobe's fifth penalty of the season, the highest total awarded by a KPL team this term, but that hadn't salvaged the Western side from a horrendous 6-2 home defeat at the hands of Kairat. "I want to apologise to our supporters for this score margin. Today, this is our level," said Aktobe manager Yuri Utkulbayev. Having bagged only one point in their last five games, Aktobe lost their spot in the top half of the table. The preparations ahead of the start to UEFA Europa League campaign could have hardly been more troublesome for the side.
Akzhayik Oral face a big mountain to climb following their promotion from the First League. The team are dropping points more often than not, staying second-bottom since Week 11. After the failure at Shakhter, head coach Baisufinov lamented he wasn't able to place his stamp over the team's performances and made it clear that he wants to leave the club. No official reaction to his statement from the board has come since then.
Semirechye side have produced a number of good displays and results over May/June spell but couldn't get past Tobol Kostanay defense in Week 17. What is more, Zhetysu have conceded a crucial goal deep into stoppage time to slip to a narrow loss. Well, maybe that was a logical outcome given that Taldykorgan are the only KPL side whose away record is better that the home one.
FC Taraz's Senegalese forward became the sixth erratic penalty-taker in the 2016 KPL. Against Ayrau, Mané had a fantastic opportunity to break the deadlock from the spot but was unable to beat goalkeeper Zhasur Narzikulov. And he had no relief afterwards as Taraz couldn't get the goal, suffering an eventual 1-0 setback, the fourth straight defeat that makes the desperate situation Jambyl side found themselves in even worse.