?imonek seals Slovakia win in Kazakhstan

Sept 06. UEFA News

Kazakhstan 0-1 Slovakia

?imonek seals Slovakia win in KazakhstanArnold ?imonek’s goal 15 minutes from time was the difference between the two sides as Slovakia maintained their perfect start in Group 9.

Slovakia made it two wins out of two in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 9 thanks to Arnold ?imonek’s goal 15 minutes from time against winless Kazakhstan in Almaty.

A 2-0 defeat of Latvia in June had got Slovakia’s campaign off to a good start, but they were facing a team that had twice drawn with Romania, including here in Almaty on Friday. But ?imonek ensured Kazakhstan’s unbeaten start ended in an even game.

After a tight first half, the game opened after the break, with Kazakstan striker Sergey Lisenkov denied in a one-on-one chance with Pavol Bajza. The visitors were quick to respond as 1. FC N?rnberg midfielder R?bert Mak raced down the flank and crossed for ?imonek to strike from close range.

Kazakhstan had a chance to draw their third match in a row but Yeldos Akhmetov shot agonisingly wide after a corner. Kazakhstan return to action against France on 7 October, four days before Slovakia visit Latvia.



Azerbaijan rally to defeat Kazakhstan

Sept 06. UEFA News

By Erkin Ibragimov

Azerbaijan 3-2 Kazakhstan

Azerbaijan scored three goals in 15 second-half minutes to clinch victory and move four points clear of their opponents at the foot of Group A.

Azerbaijan atoned for their 2-1 defeat in Astana in June, grappling their way to a 3-2 Group A win against Kazakhstan after an intriguing UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Baku.

Sergei Ostapenko’s 20th-minute opener took the wind out of the home side’s sails, but three goals in the space of 15 minutes from Rauf Aliyev, Mahir Shukurov and Vagif Javadov turned the game on its head. Substitute Vitali Yevstigneev halved the deficit with 13 minutes to go, but Berti Vogts’ side were not to be denied a second qualifying victory.

While defender Agil Nabiyev was replaced within 13 minutes of kick-off, Azerbaijan had made a decent enough start but were caught cold when powerful FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan striker Ostapenko put a firm header past Kamran Agayev. The home side responded with a volley of long shots, with Javadov coming closest to Aleksandr Mokin’s goal.

The arrival of Branimir Suba?i? at half-time gave the Azeris more bite, with a defensive lapse allowing 22-year-old Aliyev to steal in for his second international goal – and his second headed goal in as many games. Shukurov set Aliyev up, and was the next name on the scoresheet, finishing from the spot after Aliyev was fouled in the area.

Azerbaijan did not let up, and Javadov steamed in for a third after playing a stylish one-two with Suba?i?, finishing neatly into the corner. Yevstigneev struck with practically his first touch after coming on as a substitute, but there was to be no comeback, with defeat leaving Kazakhstan four points adrift of their opponents at the bottom of the section.