Azerbaijan beat Kazakhstan to set points record

Wed 07 September 2011 05:39 GMT | 05:39 Local Time

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Azerbaijan beat Kazakhstan 3-2 on Tuesday to claim a record seven points in an international qualifying campaign.

The spirit of the performance must have pleased coach Berti Vogts almost as much as the result.

After a fairly even opening 20 minutes, Kazakhstan's Sergey Ostapenko headed into the Azerbaijani goal.

This was too much for some rain-soaked fans who left the Tofig Bahramov Stadium, but the Azerbaijani players were made of sterner stuff.

Both teams kept playing passing football despite the rain and treacherous pitch. Azerbaijan went in 1-0 down at half-time but started the second half with Branimir Subasic on for Aleksandr Chertoganov. The Serbian-born player added extra bite to the Azerbaijani midfield, as he did in Friday's draw against Belgium

Azerbaijan got back into the game in the 53rd minute with Rauf Aliyev heading home from an excellent pass from Mahir Shukurov, a repeat of Friday's goal.

Shukurov got his name on the score sheet in the 62nd minute from the penalty spot to crown a very good performance.

The ever lively Vagif Javadov made it three six minutes later with a fine shot into the corner of Mokin's goal after a one-two with Branimir Subasic.

Azerbaijan seemed to be cruising towards victory when a long kick from substitute Vitaliy Yevstigneyev in the 77th minute caught Kamran Agayev by surprise and bounced off the keeper into the net.

Azerbaijan managed to hang on to their lead in a nervy final 15 minutes to take their points to seven in Euro-2012 qualifying Group A, Azerbaijan's highest ever tally in a European Championship or World Cup qualifying group.

The only blot on the landscape was a booking for the influential Mahir Shukurov, who will miss Azerbaijan's next game against Austria.

Azerbaijan's assistant coach Veli Gasimov acknowledged it had not been easy.

“It was a very difficult match. If anyone thought it would be easy for Azerbaijan, they were wrong. We didn't play well in the first half, probably because we were out to attack and were weaker in defence."

"It was a game of two halves," said Kazakhstan's Czech coach, Miroslav Beranek. “We scored a goal in the first half and missed three in the second. We made mistakes in defence. At the break I told the players to up their game but it didn't happen. On the contrary, we suffered losses. The substitution didn't change the game. We were still tired from the game against Turkey too.”

Azerbaijan are now eyeing fourth place in Group A. They can achieve it if they beat Austria in Baku on 7 October and Kazakhstan take points off the Austrians in their match on 11 October.

Germany have already qualified for Euro-2012 as the runaway leaders of Group A with a 100% record.

Turkey are in second place, just two points ahead of Belgium, after a 0-0 draw in Vienna last night. Arda Turan missed a penalty for the visitors in the 90th minute. Turkey host Germany on 7 October and Azerbaijan on the 11th.

Nine Azerbaijani players have one yellow card, so a second booking for any of them would see them miss the final qualifying match in Turkey.

Group A:

     W  D   L  FA     GD  Points
1.
Germany
 8 
  8
 0 
0
 28-3     
+23
  24
2.
Turkey          
 8
  3
 2
2
 11-8
 +3
   14
3. 
Belgium
 8
  3
 3
2
 16-11
 +5
   12
4.
Austria
 8
  2
 2
4
 12-16
  -4
    8
5.
Azerbaijan 
 8
  2
 1
5
  9-21
 -12
    7
6.
Kazakhstan
 8
  1
 0
7
  5-20
 -15
    3

 

Teams:

 

Azerbaijan: Kamran Agayev, Mahir Shukurov, Rashad Sadikhov, Ufuk Budak, Agil Nabiyev (Sasha Yunisoglu,, 13), Aleksandr Chertoganov (Branimir Subasic, 46), Rahid Amirguliyev, Vurgun Huseynov, Afran Ismayilov (Rusan Abishov, 87), Vagif Javadov, Rauf Aliyev

Kazakhstan: Aleksandr Mokin, Aleksandr Kirov, Yuriy Logvinenko, Mark Gurman, Kayrat Nurdauletov, Sergey Ostapenko, Zhambyl Kukeyev (Marat Khayrulin, 60), Ulan Konysbayev, Marat Shakhmetov (Serikzhan Muzhikov, 70), Sergey Gridin, Mikhail Rozhkov (Vitaliy Yevstigneyev, 76)

Elmir Aliyev
News.Az

See Also

Azerbaijan vs. Kazakhstan: 3 - 2 - PHOTOS

Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan match hard to predict

Azerbaijani footballers about the match with Kazakhstan

It won’t be that easy to beat Kazakhstan

Azerbaijan beat Belgium

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