Only one First League club from four survived as hard-fought wins and plenty of last-gasp goals came to the fore in the Round of 16 of the Kazakhstan Cup 2016 edition.
The title holders Kairat Almaty struggled against defensive-minded Shakhter Karagandy but eventually made a breakthrough to rally to a stunning 4-0 win in front of 8,000 home fans. The opener occured in the 78th minute when Léandre Tawamba robbed his marker of the ball before rushing into the box and sending it past goalkeeper Yaroslav Baginsky from a tight angle for his first goal as Kairat player. Islambek Kuat came on for Andrey Arshavin to double the lead five minutes later with his clinically taken rocket of a shot from outside the penalty area. Shakhter tried to turn things around but fell apart, allowing Kakhaber Tskhadadze's men to add two more in the dying moments, with Isael and Aslan Darabayev getting on the scoreboard to complete the rout.
Tanat Nuserbayev came off the bench to find a late decider against tough Caspy Aktau side to help FC Astana avoid an embarrassment in a 1-0 home victory, while FC Atyrau scraped through in an identical manner as Aleksandar Damčevski fired in the 93rd minute to eliminate the newly-established East Kazakhtan club FC Altay.
Ten-man Okzhetpes Kokshetau also waited until added time to seal their progression, with Alibek Buleshev's 95th-minute strike clinching a 2-1 win over FC Taraz. Marat Khairullin opened the scoring at the stroke of half-time but Alisher Suley cancelled out his goal with quarter of an hour remaining, just minutes before Okzhetpes midfielder Anton Chichulin's dismissal which seemed to be a big scare for the hosts. However, it was Vladimir Mukhanov's side that had last laugh despite finishing the match with a man down.
Meanwhile, FC Aktobe manager Yuri Utkulbayev rotated his team without any success as the Red and Whites lost 1-0 to visiting Zhetysu Taldykorgan whose in-form striker Dušan Savić made the difference on 65 minutes. Another team to put an exclamation point on the road were Irtysh Pavlodar, Dimitar Dimitrov's men hitting early through Ignacio Herrera to defeat Akzhayik Oral 1-0 in a game that saw both coaches rest a large number of their regular starters.
Finally, Ordabasy Shymkent converted their pressure on Kaisar Kyzylorda into two late goals, Daurenbek Tazhimbetov and Yerkebulan Tungyshbayev scoring in the final eight minutes of the game to give their team a narrow 2-0 triumph.
The quarterfinal games will be held on May 25, the draw is scheduled on April 29.
2016 Kazakhstan Cup
Round of 16
FC Astana v Caspy Aktau* 1-0 (0-0)
Goals: 1-0 Nuserbayev (90).
FC Atyrau v FC Altay* 1-0 (0-0)
Goals: 1-0 Damčevski (90+3).
Ordabasy Shymkent v Kaisar Kyzylorda* 2-0 (0-0)
Goals: 1-0 Tazhimbetov (82), 2-0 Tungyshbayev (90+2).
Tobol Kostanay v Kyzyl-Zhar SK* 0-0 (0-0) a.e.t., PSO 2-4
Akzhayik Oral v Irtysh Pavlodar 0-1 (0-1)
Goals: 0-1 Herrera (8).
Kairat Almaty v Shakhter Karagandy 4-0 (0-0)
Goals: 1-0 Tawamba (78), 2-0 Kuat (83), 3-0 Isael (90+2), 4-0 Darabayev (90+3).
FC Aktobe v Zhetysu Taldykorgan 0-1 (0-0)
Goals: 0-1 Savić (65).
Okzhetpes Kokshetau v FC Taraz 2-1 (1-0)
Goals: 1-0 Khairullin (45), 1-1 Suley (75), 2-1 Buleshev (90+5).
RC: Chichulin (80) - Okzhetpes.
* The First League clubs