FK Atyrau lifted the Kazakhstan Cup for the first time on Sunday as Denis Zubko's goal secured a 1-0 win against FC Shaktyor Karagandy at Astana Arena and earned his side a UEFA Europa League berth.
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FK Atyrau lifted the Kazakhstan Cup for the first time on Sunday as Denis Zubko's goal secured a 1-0 win against FC Shakhtyor Karagandy at the Astana Arena.
Shakhtyor could have scored early in the game when Andrey Finonchenko's accurate pass sent Ruslan Kenetayev one-on-one with Atyrau goalkeeper Andrey Shabanov, but the Kazakhstan Under-21 midfielder fired wide.Yet Atyrau went ahead before the break when 35-year-old captain Zubko bundled the ball in after a long throw. Shakhtyor raised the tempo after the break but had two efforts ruled out for offside.
Atyrau, who finished three places behind Shakhtyor in sixth this season, can now look forward to a 2010/11 UEFA Europa League qualifying campaign. Coach Vahid Masudov said: "We are very happy to finish this season on such a buoyant note. We finished sixth in the league, though our potential showed we could win something."