FC Shakhter Karagandy made up for the disappointment of failing to defend their league crown as they claimed a first ever Kazakh Cup by defeating FC Taraz in Astana.
Sergei Khizhnichenko struck the only goal of the game shortly before the break, turning in Aleksandar Simčević's low cross to make it an even more memorable year for UEFA Europa League hopefuls Shakhter, who this season became the first club from Kazakhstan to compete in a UEFA competition group stage.
After the final whistle, the players received their medals from UEFA President Michel Platini, while Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan and a Shakhter fan, handed the trophy over to the victors.
"It's a great honour to receive the cup from the president and definitely the highlight of the night," said Shakhter captain Andrei Finonchenko. "The main thing is that we won and thus filled the gap in the history of our club. It's even more pleasant to win in the centenary year of football in Kazakhstan. I want to thank all our fans who made it to the stadium or supported us near their TV sets."
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