ASTANA – The capital’s football club Astana defeated Kaisar from Kyzylorda 3-0 on Nov. 1 to capture their first Kazakhstan national title early with one game left in the regular season.
“It’s not important who scores,” Astana Captain Tanat Nuserbayev said after the game. “The main thing is that we were united from beginning to end – that’s how you win titles.”
“We deserved this title,” said Astana Coach Stanimir Stoilov, 47, and a two-time title winner in his native Bulgaria. “I want to thank my players, my assistants, the club staff, sponsors and stadium staff. The work we all put in together made us champions. We were very well organised and disciplined. We were one of the best performing sides throughout the season.”
“It was an unbelievably difficult season for me,” said Astana midfielder Guy Stéphane Essame from Cameroon, who took away a bit of the goal net as a souvenir. “Who knows? It might be the only title I win so it is nice to have something to remember it by apart from photos.”
“It is an experience I had almost forgotten about. I won this title with [the Irtysh Pavlodar football club] in 2003, and while I’ve won some cups since, [I’ve won] no more titles until now. I am so glad to be experiencing this again,” said Astana midfielder Kairat Nurdauletov.