Time to celebrate for Kazakhstan as UEFA Nations League promotion is secured!
On Thursday night, the Hawks beat Belarus 2-1 at Astana Arena thanks to goals from Mikhail Gabyshev and Bakhtiyar Zaynutdinov.
The latter coming via the boot of their talisman just 11 minutes from the end, sparking wild jubilation in Nur-Sultan.
Kazakhstan have now won all three home games in this group, also memorably beat Slovakia in Trnava.
Thus, Magomed Adiyev’s team have been promoted to League B, very much against the odds.
A mere seven months ago, Kazakhstan were a penalty shootout away from dropping into League D, just about defeating Moldova in the relegation play-outs.
Now though, the Hawks have League B football to look forward to, and a Euro 2024 play-off place, as they bid to qualify for a major tournament for the first time ever.
Azerbaijan too come into this clash buoyant after, possibly, the most famous victory in their entire history on Thursday.
Renat Dadaşov looked like he’d secured a famous Azerbaijani victory, only for Slovakia to equalise via a 93rd minute penalty.
However, immediately from kick off, the visitors went straight up the other end, with Höccat Haqverdi snatching the points at Štadión Antona Malatinského.
This result means Gianni De Biasi’s team are safe from relegation, and actually sees them leapfrog overwhelming pre-tournament group favourites Slovakia into second.
Azerbaijan did beat Belarus in their last home game, but have never won successive home matches in their entire history.
So, will the home fans at Dalğa Arena witness history, or will Kazakhstan maintain their unbeaten record in this group?