Arshavin-inspired win, Zhetysu's fighting spirit, TV failure and other talking points from the Kazakhstan Premier League last spring gameweek.
FC Astana are comfortable at the summit with 34 points, and six of them has been bagged courtesy of Maksimović. The Serbian holding midfielder who was back after international call up won the match for Kazakhstan champions for the second time in 2016 - with the first one coming against arch rivals Kairat Almaty - as his 83rd-minute strike all but sank FC Aktobe.
Kakhaber Tskhadadze's men have been clear favourites in a home match against Akzhayik Oral but were 1-0 down three minutes into it, then 2-1 down with two minutes to go. To their credit, they didn't stop fighting and were awarded with two crucial goals from Gerard Gohou and Léandre Tawamba in the frantic finale. "It was a thriller, this win is more important for me than other wins. Thanks to my players, they have showed they are real men," said Tskhadadze.
Yes, Tawamba's winner was a thing of a pure beauty but the key man in Kairat's black-and-yellow shirt on the pitch was Arshavin. The Russian star looked omnipresent as he offered a brilliant work rate, dictating tempo, running into channels and spreading balls. It was him who earned a penalty well-taken by Bauyrzhan Islamkhan and registered a decisive assist. In his 35th birthday (our congrats!), ex-Arsenal FC playmaker was at his best, delivering arguably his most sparkling performance over months and months.
In the first half of the Regular season, Zhetysu lost at home to Ordabasy Shymkent but were able to avenge that in return game in South Kazakhstan. Dušan Savić scored early on to claim a third win in a row for Semirechye side which means they recorded more points in that spell than in previous 10 matchdays! One might as well say that Almas Kulshinbayev is capable to lead his charges into the Championship round if the team stay consistent like that.
Irtysh Pavlodar attacking midfielder fired a great free kick against FC Atyrau to seal a narrow 1-0 result. It was Murtazayev's eighth strike of the season and it kept him one goal clear of the league's second-best scorer in Gohou.
The Pitmen arrested their bad run contained of three consecutive losses and 325 minutes without scoring. At last, the meeting with Tobol Kostanay saw the duck broken through a first-half goal from Maksat Baizhanov. "We pushed forward in the reverse game at Tobol and that resulted in a 3-0 defeat for us. But today, we were compact and solid defensively, and we managed to get the first win at our regular venue, so we can share our joy with our supporters," reacted Shakhter midfielder Aibar Nurybekov.
Bakhtiyar Baiseitov's side have won Zhetysu Taldykorgan 2-1 away from home but couldn't repeat that feat in front of their own crowd in Shymkent where the visitors ended up 1-0 winners. As it is, failing to find the net on home turf for the first time since the start of the campaign, Ordabasy have the worst defensive record among the top six teams (18 goals allowed).
An unbelievably shambolic goalkeeping from the former Kazakhstan and FC Aktobe stopper almost cost Kairat Almaty very important points in their 3-2 win over Akzhayik Oral. While making his league debut for Almaty club, Sidelnikov committed two dreadful mistakes inside opening half an hour to gift Akzhayik two soft goals. Before the interval, he was substituted to prevent any further harm, and that seemed to be one of the main factors behind the victory Kairat had snatched at the death.FC Aktobe fans
The Western club suffered its fourth defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss against visiting champions Astana looking to be a fair outcome despite Stanimir Stoilov's side left it late to decide the match. And this perhaps wasn't the biggest story of the night as the local crowd not only supported the host team but booed their former darling Yuri Logvinenko. After spending 10 years at Aktobe, Kazakhstan international centre-back moved to Astana this winter, turning from hero to foe in the eyes of the part of the Red and Whites fan base. Aktobe captain Samat Smakov has wrote on Twitter: "Yesterday, I didn't expect our fans to be so disrespectful to Yura who has done a lot of good for Aktobe football. I feel ashamed for you!"
Не ожидал вчера от своих болельщиков, такого неуважения к Юре, который столько сделал для Актюбинского футбола! Мне за Вас стыдно!!!— Samat Smakov (@SamSmakov) 30 мая 2016 г.
The referee from Ust-Kamenogorsk disallowed a goal scored by Przemysław Trytko. To put it simply, Chesnokov stole it from the Pole and his FC Atyrau side, something that would help Irtysh pick up all three points from the the Munaishy Sports Complex trip.
What a miserable run for Tobol. They lost 1-0 at Shakhter and have now only one win in their last 11 games. That led to another managerial shift at Kostanay club, with former Zhetysu coach Omari Tetradze arriving to replace caretaker Oleg Lotov who couldn't solve the crisis after Dmitry Ogay's departure.
Another Premier League week without attention from the broadcasters. So is there any sense of having a wholesale national sports channel - in the country that regards football as the most popular sport - if those TV guys simply refuse to show domestic football?