5th-8th April 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Dushanbe-83 0-7 Istiklol
(Orazsakhedov 25, M.Dzhalilov 31, 46, 64, A.Dzhalilov 60, Boboev 80, 90)
Manuchekhr Dzhalilov takes home the match ball in Istiklol’s seven-goal romp over newly-promoted Dushanbe-83.
Dushanbe-83, who finished third in the Tajik second tier last season, got off to a good start. Ghanaian speedster Agbley Jones knocking on the door straight off the bat. However, it wasn’t long before 2019 treble-winners Istiklol cranked it up a notch, and the game sparked into life. Breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute, Ehson Panjshanbe pinged into Turkmenistani No9 Wahyt Orazsähedow, to steer over the onrushing keeper. Five minutes later, Manuchekhr Dzhalilov’s acrobatic volley put the visitors 2-0 up.
CSKA’s Alisher Ergashev and Istiklol’s Ehson Panjshanbe trudged down the tunnel just before half-time in a double dismissal stemming from, what appeared to be, an accidental trip. Within seconds of the restart, Dzhalilov reacted quickest to glance in his second and the Lions’ third. Alisha Dzhalilov curled in a superb free-kick from distance, before M. Dzhalilov’s low blast confirmed his hat-trick. Sheriddin Boboev tucked in their sixth and seventh.
CSKA Pamir 1-3 Khujand
(Gaforov 76; Sidorov 45, Beknazarov 63, Ahmadov 90)
Khujand get their season off to a great start downing ten-man CSKA.
CSKA started brightly, popping it about at the back and pressing high with three-men up top. In the hope of breaching the hosts’ sturdy backline, deep-lying Khujand had resorted to thumping speculative long balls upfield.
Against the run of play, lofty Uzbeki marksman Andrey Sidorov’s powerful header broke the deadlock just before the half-time whistle. Growing in confidence, on 63 minutes Khurshed Beknazarov doubled Khujand’s advantage as CSKA failed to clear their lines.
A second yellow saw CSKA’s Firuz Bobiev dismissed on 67 minutes, though the hosts pulled one back in the 76th minute, Shodibek Gafforov getting his head to a loose ball in a goal-mouth scramble. Sidorov went close again, meeting a cross mid-air to side-foot over, but Manouchehr Ahmadov finally killed off CSKA, converting a penalty late in the day.
Lokomotiv Pamir 2-2 Fayzkand
(Sulaymonov 54, Zaripov 73; Rustamov 48, Khasanov 70)
All four goals came in the second half – including Shakhrom Sulaimonov’s edge-of-the-box belter – as the top tier newcomers clashed in an entertaining draw in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe. A youthful Lokomotiv Pamir side came from behind twice, pulling level for a second time in the 73rd minute, as Azizdzhon Zaripov pounced on a loose ball to dink in and secure the visitors one point.
Khatlon 2-1 Istaravshan
(Baki-Akhunov 53, Boboev 90+4pen; Barotov 10)
Ehson Boboev dispatched a stoppage time spot kick for Khatlon to clinch a 2-1 opening-game victory over Istaravshan. Ilkhomdzon Barotov struck first, inside 10 minutes, putting the vistors in front. However, three-time league winners (1997, 2005, 2009) Khatlon rallied to claim a last-gasp win.
Kuktosh 0-0 Regar-TadAZ
Meanwhile in Rudaki, this year’s Tajikistan Federation Cup winners Kutkosh were held to goalless draw.