Shakhter Karagandy

    Shakhter Karagandy

    SOCCER

      Face-saving win for Haifa

      Maccabi Haifa salvaged a small amount of pride from their unsuccessful Europa League Group L campaign as they claimed their first win in the dead-rubber match against Shakhter Karagandy.Shoval Gozlan's second-half header and Shimon Abuhatzira's strike denied Shakhter their first Europa League away win while claiming their only success of the group stages, which saw AZ Alkmaar and PAOK Salonika progress to the round of 32.Roger Canas opened the scoring from the penalty spot for Shakhter in the 43rd minute after Ran Abukarat fouled Gevorg Ghazaryan but it was not enough as Haifa came through to win 2-1.However, goals from Gozlan and Abuhatzira in the 73rd and 81st minutes left the Kazakhstan Premier League side winless in the competition.Haifa went close before Canas's goal when Gozlan forced Stas Pokatilov to tip the ball over the bar with a testing header from the middle of the area before the goalkeeper was on form to deny Idan Vered's strike from outside the 18-yard box.Shakhter also had a chance go begging before the half hour mark when Aldin Dzidic forced a brilliant save from Edri, however the visitors finished the first half on a high thanks to Canas's accuracy from the spot.Maksat Baizhanov's 20-yard curling effort was comfortably saved by Edri after the break before the Haifa keeper denied Ghazaryan from a similar distance.The game was temporarily suspended in the second half due to a floodlight failure before getting back under way, and Shakhter were made to suffer.Gozlan netted a 76th-minute header to cancel out Canas's strike before Abuhatzira scored the winner five minutes later.
      • 9Y
      • PA Sport

      Shakhter Karagandy

      SOCCER

        PAOK ease into knockout stage

        PAOK Salonika's hopes of topping Europa League Group L were given a boost as they emerged from Kazhakstan with a 2-0 win over Shakhtyor KaragandyHuub Stevens' side made the trip knowing qualification was in the can barring an unforseen meltdown, but armed with the knowledge they needed a win for the purposes of their battle for top spot with AZ Alkmaar.The pair headed the group on eight points before this and top spot will almost certainly be decided by their last-game meeting after this win which put the seal on PAOK's progression.An unfortunate Aldid Dzidic own goal and a Stelios Kitsiou strike saw off a Shakyhtor side who have made little impression after initially being primed for the Champions League.With Shakhytor having picked up just two points across four games they were not expected to offer too much resistance and PAOK started accordingly as Sotiris Ninis went close from the edge of the box.The home side would pipe up, though, and made an impression as Aleksandar Simcevic drilled in a shot which Panagiotis Glykos saved, with the goalkeeper then denying Andrey Finonchenko.The traffic remained one way and Glykos earned his corn again as Simcevic wrapped in another shot, before PAOK woke up and Costin Lazar slipped a shot just away from goal.Miroslav Stoch was the next to try his luck but to no avail, with the same man then seeing a well-hit effort stopped by Alexandr Mokin.Stoch was a real danger and drew another save from Mokin after the break and it was no surprise that he was involved in the first goal, with his 54th-minute pass finding Lucas whose cross flicked off Dzidic and looped in.Shakhtyor took some time to respond and their next effort arrived in the 70th minute - Andrey Finonchenko passing up a fine chance from six yards.They had little to offer beyond that, though, and with seconds left on the clock Kitsiou cracked in from midway through the area after smart work from Dimitris Salpingidis.
        • 9Y

        Shakhter Karagandy

        SOCCER

          AZ close in on knockout stages

          Celso Ortiz's second-half goal saw AZ Alkmaar all but guarantee their place in the Europa League last-32 following a 1-0 win over a lacklustre Shakhter Karagandy.Ortiz netted in the 55th minute following a goalkeeping error from Stas Pokatilov as unbeaten AZ moved six points clear of third-placed Maccabi Haifa with two games in Group L remaining.Shakhter, who held the Dutch side to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, were poor throughout after breaking the record for the longest journey in the history of UEFA group stage football.They were only able to name three substitutes against AZ, who made a bright start to proceedings, with Roy Beerens' strike from the edge of the area blocked by Shakhter midfielder Serhiy Maliy.Mattias Johansson then saw his shot from just outside the box caught by visiting goalkeeper Pokatilov.Chances were few and far between as the half wore on although Pokatilov was kept on his toes after being forced to tip away another long range effort from the lively Beerens, with Jan Wuytens heading wide from the resulting corner.Beerens tried his luck again from distance but was once more thwarted by Pokatilov shortly after half-time before AZ were rewarded for their attacking persistence, albeit following an error from Pokatilov.The Shakhter number one allowed Ortiz's angled drive at his near post to slip through his hands 10 minutes after the break.It was unfortunate on Pokatilov, who had been faultless up until that point.Shakhter could not find a way through the AZ defence although Maksat Baizhanov's shot 13 minutes from time that missed the target did at least give the away fans some hope their side could find a leveller in the closing stages.While it was AZ who finished the stronger side, Roger Canas nearly rescued an undeserved point for the Kazakhstan champions but shot wide from just outside the box.
          • 9Y

          Shakhter Karagandy

          SOCCER

            Shakhter settle for draw

            Shakhter Karagandy were unable to hold onto their early lead as they took a point from their Europa League Group L meeting with AZ Alkmaar.Andrey Finonchenko opened the scoring for Shakhter in the 11th minute before Aron Johannsson levelled for the Dutch side before the half-hour mark.The 1-1 draw meant group leaders AZ dropped points while Shakhter, who started the game bottom of the standings, missed a good chance to boost their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.The home side showed their intent early on when Gevorg Ghazaryan forced a save from AZ keeper Esteban Alvarado from 20 yards in the second minute.Sergey Khizhnichenko tested Alvarado again 60 seconds later with another attempt from distance, but this time the Costa Rican got both hands on the ball to keep the Kazakh side out.Alvarado was kept busy again as he punched Finonchenko's corner clear in the fifth minute and, with a goal looking inevitable, Shakhter did take the lead soon after when the striker put away Aleksandar Simcevic's headed-on assist.Finonchenko slotted the ball past the busy AZ keeper from close range to give the home side a deserved early lead.AZ striker Roy Beerens then sent a shot wide before Sergey Khizhnichenko put an effort over the bar at the other end.However, the Eredivisie side were not behind for long as Johannsson found the equaliser in the 26th minute.The striker fired Mattias Johansson's assist beyond Shakhter keeper Alexandr Mokin as the teams left the pitch tied 1-1 at half-time.After the break, the game became a bit more scrappy with both sides struggling to create any real chances until Johannsson saw a header saved by Mokin in the 70th minute.However, no one was able to find the breakthrough to claim victory as the game wound down to a draw.
            • 9Y
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