Sergey Strukov scored twice to help FK Aktobe overcome FC Alma-Ata 3-1 to win the Kazakhstan Cup for the first time in their history and give the club a chance to complete a domestic double when they meet FC Tobol Kostanay in the title decider in Almaty on Thursday.
Alma-Ata won the trophy in 2006 and could have claimed a place in UEFA Europa League qualifying with a victory but Aktobe produced a confident display to show their authority. In the first half, Strukov scored twice to answer Evgeni Kostrub's goal and after the break the Russian defender Konstantin Golovskoy added the third goal to seal the triumph.
Strukov has taken plenty of plaudits since joining Aktobe in March as a free agent after leaving FC Irtysh Pavlodar. The 26-year-old Russian striker made his debut in the Kazakhstan Super Cup on 2 March, when two precise strikes from him were enough to beat Tobol before his latest feat. He scored eleven goals in the Premier League this term to add to his two trophies – and Aktobe still have the chance of a third when they face Tobol in the title play-off.
"I have only played two really important matches in my life," Strukov told uefa.com after the final. "Thankfully, I managed to score twice in both of them. I hope that luck will still be on my side after this. To tell you the truth, we haven't really celebrated this victory as all of us are thinking about the match against Tobol. We'll try to win all three trophies on the national stage."
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