Stunning comeback in Astana as Kazakhstan edge Denmark 3-2
Kazakhstan stunned Denmark by rallying from two goals behind to beat them 3-2 in Astana—their first-ever head-to-head triumph. Abat Aymbetov scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute.
The visitors got going right away and had a chance to score after only three minutes when Jonas Wind's shot across the goal face narrowly missed Rasmus Højlund. Højlund, who scored a hat-trick against Finland on Thursday, then nearly assisted when his backheel found Joakim Maehle, but his effort was blocked and rebounded off the striker before missing wide. The Danes didn't have to wait long to take the lead, though, as Højlund expertly lobbed the ball over Igor Shatskiy after being sent in by captain Simon Kjær's perfect pass over the top.
The hosts had a good chance to equalise a couple of minutes later but defender Serhiy Malyi’s header was straight at Kasper Schmeichel, and the hosts were made to pay 10 minutes before HT when Denmark worked their way into the area and saw a shot rebound to Højlund who poked the ball home from close range for his fifth goal in two games.
Despite having the second-lowest ranking in Group H, Kazakhstan stayed highly competitive and gave Denmark some trouble in the second half. After Jonas Wind's arm was deemed to have been struck by the ball from a corner with little under 20 minutes remaining, the Hawks were given a penalty. Abzal Beysebekov's attempt from within the area had been deflected onto the right post. Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov set up an exciting conclusion in Astana without making a mistake.
All of the momentum was with Kazakhstan in the closing stages, and in dramatic circumstances they turned the game on its head as a thunderbolt from Askhat Tagybergen found the top right corner, before substitute Aymbetov headed home to send the Astana crowd into raptures and secure a famous win which blows Group H wide open. The drama wasn't over there for Aymbetov though, as he was booked twice in stoppage time and given his marching orders before the final whistle sounded on a classic.