Gerard Gohou got the winner for Kairat Almaty in the tense encounter against FC Astana at the Central Stadium in Almaty that opened Kazakhstan Premier League Week 18 on Thursday.
After just 11 minutes, Isael set up the league top scorer Gohou with a clever diagonal chip which was followed by the great piece of individual play delivered by the Ivorian.
He fooled Yevgeny Postnikov and entered the penalty area before slamming a clinical low finish past diving goalkeeper Nenad Erić to notch his 13th strike of the season.
A narrow 1-0 win avenged Kairat Almaty's identical loss at the Astana Arena in reverse fixture earlier in the campaign and allowed them to close the gap on Astana who sit at the top of the league to eight points.
Kakhaber Tskhadadze's men moved into provisional second place, leapfrogging Irtysh Pavlodar who are set to entertain Zhetysu Taldykorgan on Saturday.
Завершается встреча победой Кайрата - 1:0. С победой, друзья! #КайратАстана— ФК «Кайрат» (@fc_kairat) 23 июня 2016 г.
The game ended with a 1-0 win for Kairat. Congrats, fellows!
Despite featuring a five-man backline, Astana were active throughout, pressed high up the pitch, won the possession battle and carved out a number of promising chances.
The equaliser never came, however, with Stanimir Stoilov's charges lacking a little bit of luck and quality in front of goal to convert any of their opportunities into something valuable.
The hosts, in their turn, had chances of their own only to see them wasted, and their inability to put the match to bed ensured a pretty nervous finish, a very much de rigueur in the Two Capitals Derby.
Tskhadadze: "Normally, Kairat play attacking-minded football in home games but today, our approach was different as we decided to sit deeper. We struck a good goal, performed with composure and got a decent victory."
Kazakhstan Premier League, Gameweek 18
Kairat Almaty v FC Astana 1-0 (1-0)
23/06/2016, Central Stadium (Almaty). Att: 19,000. Ref: Duzmambetov (Ust-Kamenogorsk).
Kairat: Plotnikov, Lunin, Rudoselsky (Kuantayev 25), Marković, Tesák, Bakayev, Tymoshchuk, Isael (Turysbek 87), Islamkhan, Arshavin (Acevedo 75), Gohou. HC: Kakhaber Tskhadadze (GEO).
Astana: Erić, Beisebekov (Despotović 64), Postnikov, Aničić, Logvinenko, Shomko, Cañas, Maksimović, Twumasi (Nurgaliyev 57), Muzhikov, Nuserbayev (Ibraimi 73). HC: Stanimir Stoilov (BUL).
Goals: 1-0 Gohou (11).
YC: Muzhikov (23), Arshavin (45+3), Postnikov (68), Marković (81).
Top scorersGerard Gohou (Kairat Almaty) – 13, Roman Murtazayev (Irtysh Pavlodar) – 9 (1), Dušan Savić (Zhetysu Taldykorgan) – 9 (1), Bauyrzhan Islamkhan (Kairat Almaty) – 8 (3).
June 24 - Okzhetpes Kokshetau v FC Aktobe, Akzhayik Oral v Ordabasy Shymkent.
June 25 - FC Taraz v Tobol Kostanay, Irtysh Pavlodar v Zhetysu Taldykorgan, FC Atyrau v Shakhter Karagandy.