Astana crowned for third time in Kazakhstan

Astana have clinched their third successive league title in Kazakhstan with a game to spare, ending the ambitions of a Kairat side featuring Andrey Arshavin and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

Astana captain Tanat Nuserbayev celebrates afer winning the Kazakhstani title
Astana captain Tanat Nuserbayev celebrates afer winning the Kazakhstani title ©FC Astana

Astana have clinched their third successive league title in Kazakhstan after a goalless draw against Okzhetpes this morning left them with an unassailable four-point lead with one game remaining.

Defeat ten days ago by a Kairat Almaty outfit featuring Andrey Arshavin and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk had caused a few nerves for Stanimir Stoilov's men.

Yet after edging a 1-0 win on Sunday they claimed the point they needed today at Okzhetpes to settle matters, even if Roger Cañas's penalty miss and a Junior Kabananga effort ruled out for offside prolonged the agony slightly.

European ambition
Astana could yet claim a first domestic double: they host Irtysh in the Kazakhstani Cup semi-finals on 6 November. The Blue and Yellows are still in contention in the UEFA Europa League, too, having picked up a point so far.

"My players are heroes to me!" said Stoylov "Now we will put all our efforts into the UEFA Europa League, trying to earn some points and boost our UEFA ranking. Next season we'll be playing in UEFA Champions League qualification again and we want to be seeded. We've played 32 European matches in two and a half years: crazy!"

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