FC Astana have won the Kazakh Cup for the second time in the club's history after defeating league runners-up FC Irtysh Pavlodar 2-0 in the final.
Miroslav Beránek's men reclaimed the trophy they first lifted two years ago thanks to goals from Kairat Nurdauletov and Tanat Nusserbayev. Having already clinched a place in next season's UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds, Irtysh were hoping to end the season on a high, but they went into the game at a distinct disadvantage, missing injured captain Sergei Ivanov and with league top scorer Ulugbek Bakaev away on international duty with Uzbekistan.
Astana, who finished fifth in the table, five points behind their final opponents, immediately took advantage, and five minutes in captain Nurdauletov rose to head in a free-kick from the right. Irtysh were under pressure for long spells but kept the scoreline tight until eight minutes from the end, when Kethevoama Foxi broke free out wide and crossed for Nusserbayev to turn in Astana's second.
"We were unable to win the league, so we had to win this trophy to prevent us ending the season empty-handed," said Nurdauletov after the final whistle. "We played really well today; we were consistent as a squad and everybody played selflessly. I have never scored in the final previously, so that is another reason for joy."
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