Mikhail Rozhkov scored the only goal in the Kazakh Cup final as FC Lokomotiv Astana defeated FC Shakhter Karagandy to claim their first ever major trophy.
Shakhter had the better of the opening exchanges and twice could have taken the lead, only for Andrey Finonchenko and Aleksandr Kislitsyn to both be denied by the woodwork. Lokomotiv were far less profligate and converted their first real chance on 35 minutes when defender Rozhkov slotted in after a corner had caused a scramble in Shakhter's penalty area. Finonchenko failed to put away another good chance to level the score late in the second half before Loko defender Igor Bugaiov nearly made it 2-0.
Victory served as consolation for Lokomotiv having missed out on third place in the Kazakh Premier League, while for Shakhter it was a second successive defeat in the showpiece match. "Of course it hurts to lose," said caretaker coach Askar Abildayev. "But I can't blame my players because we were not any worse than the other team today. The only thing we lacked was a goal."
"I have mixed feelings about the season," said Rozhkov. "We didn't start well but we improved and this cup is a reward for all our efforts. I was lucky today to score a winning goal – I'm not a striker but a central defender." Triumphant head coach Holger Fach added: "We produced a very important win in a good game. I am tired – I believe we all now need to have a good rest before next season starts."
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