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Analysis: Altyn Asyr keep it simple in solid away win

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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Bishkek: Altyn Asyr FC executed an impressive 2-0 win away to Dordoi FC in the 2017 AFC Cup on Tuesday to further assert themselves as one of the favourites to progress from Group D.

This was far from an easy victory though, and Altyn Asyr had to work hard to overcome a resilient Dordoi side and difficult pitch in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Altyn Asyr beat the bumps by pumping it long

The pitch at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium was far from conducive to slick passing football, and the visitors initially struggled to make much headway on the bumpy turf.

Arslanmurat Amanov was among those left defeated by a rogue divot as he tried to dribble his way into the Dordoi area in the opening stages, and before too long Altyn Asyr decided they’d be better leaving the lawn and instead going more direct.

Whereas only 17.2% of Dordoi’s passes were played long, Amanov and co. opted to commit 40.9% of theirs to the skies, and that simple approach ended up being far more effective.

Combinations not key for the visitors

The pitch provided difficulties for both sets of players here, but whereas the away side soon changed tact the hosts demonstrated more perseverance – perhaps being more used to the unpredictable nature of the field.

The passing combinations of each side paint a reasonably clear picture of how the game played out, with Dordoi making far more connections but failing to make much headway and Altyn Asyr rarely linking up but ultimately working the ball into areas where they could do damage.

Dordoi defender Kursanbek Sheratov played 13 passes to his fellow centre-back Egor Potapov, for example, while Potapov returned the favour 11 times. Sheratov also exchanged passes with central midfielder Aziz Sydkov 18 times (nine in each direction), with Sydkov then finding forward Zhyrgalbek Kairat on 10 occasions.

On the other hand, the most combinations Altyn Asyr managed between players was just four – with two such instances being balls sent from goalkeeper Mamed Orazmuhamedhov to forwards Arslanmurat Amanov and Altymyrat Annadurdyyev.

Amanov shows Kairat how it’s done in the final third

That isn’t to say that Altyn Asyr were merely playing a hit-and-hope game though, and in Arslanmurat Amanov they had the game’s most dangerous player.

The 27-year-old was always looking to make something happen and didn’t let his head drop even after hitting the post with an 18th minute penalty, recording far more productive stats than his opposite number Zhyrgalbek Kairat.

Kairat failed to register any shots on target or successful crosses and managed to create just one chance for Dordoi, while Amanov found the target twice, made five successful crosses, and created two opportunities for his teammates.