Tag Archives: Euro 2012

Kazakhstan holds Austria

12 Oct

Kazakhstan pressure Austria with a rare corner at the Astana Arena

Kazakhstan ended its Euro 2012 qualification campaign on a relative high-note as it held Austria to a 0-0 draw in Astana on 11 October. Coming on the back of a 4-1 thrashing in Belgium, Kazakhstan did well to keep a clean sheet against the Austrians who were fresh from beating Azerbaijan 4-1 in Baku.

New boss Miroslav Beranek can take heart from the team’s performance as it nearly snatched victory over a lacklustre Austria. The Kazakhs came closest to scoring with a header from Sergei Ostapenko that hit the crossbar in the 74th minute.

Kazakhstan still finished 3 points adrift of Azerbaijan at the bottom of group A. Attention now turns to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, although Kazakhstan face an uphill task as it is paired once again with Germany and Austria. With Sweden and Ireland also in the group, Kazakhstan’s best hope may be to overhaul the Faroe Islands and avoid the wooden spoon.

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Baku Showdown for Kazakhstan

5 Sep

Kazakhstan’s footballers are in Baku, Azerbaijan for a crunch match that will most likely decide who will take the wooden spoon in qualifying group A for Euro 2012.

After a dire run, Kazakhstan’s footballing fortunes appear to be on the up under new manager Miroslav Beranek. The Czech guided his charges to a 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan in June. Last Friday the Kazakhs were desperately unlucky to   lose to Turkey  by a goal scored in the sixth minute of injury time.

After the wake-up call in Astana in June, the Azeris scored a creditable draw with Belgium in Baku last Friday. Manager Berti Vogts will be hoping for no repetition of the emotional scenes that greeted him in Baku last June – a journalist threw a toilet roll at him during the post-match press conference amid anger over Kazakhstan’s victory.

Azebaijan are currently on 4 points and Kazakhstan on 3 so it’s all to play for tomorrow night in Baku with the ignominy of the wooden spoon at stake.

Kazakhstan Victory Sparks Fury in Baku

6 Jun

Astana Arena ... the new home of Kazakh football

Football fans in Kazakhstan are in a state of shock after the national team managed to beat Azerbaijan 2-1 in Astana last Friday. The victory gave Kazakhstan its first points in attempting to qualify for Euro 2012. In its five previous outings, the Kazakhs had failed to even score a goal.

Across the Caspian Sea in Baku, the reaction was one of anger at Azerbaijan manager Berti Vogts, who had toilet paper thrown at him at a press conference on his return from Kazakhstan. He was also presented with a ceremonial pitcher used for ritual ablutions.

There were other reports that Vogts had an ’emotional conversation’ with head of Azeri football Rovnag Abdullayev on his return to Baku. This result was a blow to the pride of the Azeris who now find themselves in a desperate struggle with the Kazakhs for the wooden spoon.

On the night in Astana, Kazakhstan’s hero was Sergei Gridin,  who was making his international debut He marked the occasion in great style with two second-half goals. The 24-year-old is a midfielder with FC Tobol Kostanay, who won the Kazakhstan league in 2010.

Vogts’s charges now have to play Germany on 7 June on home soil. When the teams met in Cologne in September 2010, the Azeris suffered a 6-1 defeat, so things do not look too bright for Vogts’s future on the shores of the Caspian Sea.