Deniss Rakeļs hit Latvia's first goal in Group 9 to cancel out Yermek Kuantayev's opening effort for Kazakhstan and earn the home side a deserved point in Jelgava.
After precisely 615 scoreless minutes in this qualification campaign – 75 minutes tonight plus six previous matches – Rakeļs got his team off the mark at last when he sent a gorgeous volley flying into the top corner from Roberts Savaļnieks' cross. Following on from the teams' 0-0 draw in June, the result means both are still without a victory in the section.
Kazakhstan survived a scare early in the match when Eduards Višņakovs put a clear header wide in the 17th minute. However, the visitors then went in front when Kuantayev capitalised on slack home defending with a straightforward finish in the 57th minute. With one game left each, Kazakhstan are two points clear of the bottom-placed Latvians, who have just two points to their name.
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