Tajikistan football: everything you need to know four weeks in

The Tajikistan Higher League returns on Tuesday 16 June 2020 – here’s a rundown of everything you need to know from the competition’s first four weeks.

The league standings
Istiklol currently top the table, but only narrowly, as Khatlon are hot on their heals in second place on goal difference. Bottom of the table, struggling Istaravshan are yet to collect a point, losing all four of their matches this season.

Manuchekhr Dzhalilov scores for Istiklol

Who is the top goalscorer?
Istiklol’s Manuchekhr Dzhalilov has already netted seven league goals this season. A hat-trick – which included an acrobatic flying volley – on gameweek one, and two on both gameweek three and four.

The 29-year-old striker has returned to Istiklol having failed to make his mark in Indonesia with stints at Sriwijaya and Persebaya. That’s good news for Istiklol fans, no less. The 29-year-old striker played for the club between 2015-17, scoring 59 goals in 47 appearances.

Highest scoring games
So far, two games have finished with a seven-goal scoreline – both Istiklol victories (6-1 against Kuktosh, 0-7 against Dushanbe-83).

Istiklol 6-1 Kuktosh (gameweek four: 25th April 2020)
(M. Dzhalilov 15 65, Soirov 61 83 90+3, Rahimov 68; Nazarov 81)

Dushanbe-83 0-7 Istiklol (gameweek one: 8th April 2020)
(Orazsakhedov 25, M.Dzhalilov 31 46 64, A.Dzhalilov 60, Boboev 80 90)

Khatlon’s Khudoidod Uzokov

Best individual performances
Three hat-tricks have been scored so far this season. Manuchekhr Dzhalilov registered the first in Istiklol’s demolition of Dushanbe-83 in their season opener. Istiklol’s 17-year-old Rustam Soirov hit three on gameweek four’s romp over Kuktosh. In the same gameweek, Khatlon’s Khudoidod Uzokov took home the match ball in their 3-2 victory away to Lokomotiv Pamir.

Which team should you support? Find out more.

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