"I'm completely happy right now," said midfielder Azat Nurgaliyev as FC Ordabasy Shymkent celebrated their maiden Kazakh Cup triumph after edging FC Tobol Kostanay 1-0.
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FC Ordabasy Shymkent have lifted the Kazakh Cup for the first time in their history after seeing off FC Tobol Kostanay 1-0 in the final in Almaty.
The showpiece meeting was a rematch of the decider four years ago, when Tobol emerged 3-0 winners. It was a different story this time around, however, as Ordabasy began in determined fashion and struck the crossbar through Artem Kasyanov, before Vitali Volkov threatened with a dangerous effort at the other end.
The only goal of the game came five minutes before the break as Mukhtar Mukhtarov pounced on a mistake and found the net, and Ordabasy continued pressing after that, gaining an additional advantage when Tobol lost Nenad Šljivić to a red card following his challenge on Daurenbek Tazhimbetov. They were then able to hold on to their lead in comfortable playing conditions, despite Almaty having been hit by freezing temperatures and snow at the start of last week.
"I think we were the better team today," said Ordabasy midfielder Azat Nurgaliyev. "This game had a special meaning for me, as I played for Tobol last year. We could have won 3-0 or 5-0, but one goal was enough. I'm completely happy right now."
"Our town deserved this success," added defender Farkhadbek Irismetov. "People love football in Shymkent. There have always been good teams in this town, but we've only just won the trophy for the first time. The players are glad to have made our fans happy."