This Saturday at 13:00 Pyunik will meet the team from Kazakhstan — Maktaaral. In 2013, the club received professional status and was allowed to participate in the First League, the second division of the country. In 2022, the team made its debut in the Premier League and at the end of the season retained its place in it, successfully playing in the final part of the championship and winning the ‘southern derby of Turkestan’ in the penultimate round (a match with Turan).
Maktaaral is the only club in the strongest division that represents not the region, but the district. This place is the main one in Kazakhstan for the cultivation and subsequent export of cotton. The peculiarity is reflected in the name of the district, which translates as ‘cotton island’, and even in the nickname of the club — ‘cotton growers’.
The head coach of the team is Konstantin Gorovenko, one of the most promising specialists in Kazakhstan. In 2018, he entered the top-3 coaches of the First League, in 2020 he made his debut in the main division and led Shakhtar (Karaganda) to European competitions. Gorovenko helped to secure the promotion and consolidation of Maktaaral in the Premier League.
The top scorer of the 2022 season is central striker Ramazan Karimov, who scored 7 goals in the championship and 4 in the Kazakhstan Cup. At the moment, he has the highest transfer value in the team (350k € — Transfermarkt).
Watch the game and support Pyunik!