The season so far: form, standings, results, top scorers

Form Guide, News, Tajikistan Higher League

Nine rounds into the Tajikistan Higher League, we take a look at the state of play.

Winning four games by at least a five-goal margin, Istiklol’s unbeaten run has seen them tighten their grip at the top. CSKA have overturned a rocky start; finding their feet in gameweek five, and top-tier newcomers Dushanbe-83 have exceeded expectations and sit mid-table. Istiklol’s Dzhalilov brothers have dominated the scoring; Manuchekhr on 10 and Alisher on 8.

League table

The Tajikistan football league's season so far: form, standings, results, top scorers

Form guide

CSKA Pamir Dushanbe: WWDWDLWLL
Dushanbe-83: LDWWLWDLL
Istaravshan: LDWLLLLLL
Istiklol: WWWWWWDWW
Fayzkand: LLDLDWDWD
Khatlon: LWDLWWDWW
Khujand: WWLWWWDLW
Kuktosh: WLDLWLDWD
Lokomotiv Pamir: LLLLLLLWD
Regar-TadAZ: WLLWLLWLD

Results

Top scorers

10 Manuchekhr Dzhalilov (Istiklol)
8 Alisher Dzhalilov (Istiklol)
8 lhomjon Barotov (Istaravshan)
6 Sheriddin Boboev (Istiklol)
6 Rustam Soirov (Istiklol)
5 Parviz Baki-Akhunov (Khatlon)
5 Dilshod Bozorov (Khujand)
5 Khudoidod Uzokov (Khatlon)
4 Shodibek Gafforov (CSKA)
4 Wahyt Orazsähedow (Istiklol)
4 Shodibek Gafforov (CSKA)

CLICK HERE FOR MATCH REPORTS AND HIGHLIGHTS.

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 8

Match Reports, News, Tajikistan Higher League

4th-5th July 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 8

Fayzkand 0-4 Istiklol

(M. Dzhalilov, Boboev 24, A. Dzhalilov 29 43)

Highlights: Fayzkand 0-4 Istiklol

Lokomotiv 0-2 Khujand

(Bozorov 3, Chakalov 62)

Highlights: Lokomotiv 0-2 Khujand

Dushanbe-83 3-3 Istaravshan

(Rashidbekov 27, Abdulloev 39, Rashidbekov 60; Barotov 17pen, Khomidov 23, Barotov 83) 

Highlights: Dushanbe-83 3-3 Istaravshan

CSKA 3-1 Regar-TadAZ

(Vosiev 28,  Mabatshoev 45 + 2 89; Bobodjonov 79)

Khatlon 2-1 Kuktosh

(Uzokov 25, Ismoilov 86; Sultonov 89) 

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 7

Match Reports, News, Tajikistan Higher League

27th-28th June 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 7

Khujand 1-3 Istiklol

(Rikhsiboev 3; M. Dzhalilov, A. Dzhalilov 77, Orazsähedow 90+1)

Manuchekhr Dzhalilov bundled in from a corner to cancel out Sanjar Rikhsiboev’s unexpected third-minute opener. Istiklol eventually gained control of the tie on 77 minutes, when Alisher Dzhalilov’s floated cross-cum-shot deceived the Khujand custodian to give Istiklol the lead. There was no let up for the hosts as the Lions continued to attack, Wahyt Orazsähedow driving into the bottom corner in injury time to remain at the league’s pinnacle.

Regar-TadAZ 1-2 Dunshanbe-83

(Ruziev 88 og; Jones, 45 + 1, Aminu 69)

With a minute of first-half stoppage time remaining, Agbley Jones fired home as the Regar defence were suckered in by Elchibek Rashidbekov’s enterprising run. Idris Aminu doubled for Dushanbe, striking low to cap a storming run from deep. Despite a late slip up when Izatullo Ruziev turned into his own net, Dushanbe-83 held on to claim their second consecutive win. 

Istaravshan 2-0 Lokomotiv Pamir

(Barotov 53 90+1)

Khatlon 1-1 Fayzkand

(Baki-Akhunov 69; Baratov 59)

Kuktosh 0-0 CSKA

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 7 highlights

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 6

Match Reports, Tajikistan Higher League

20th-21st June 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 6

Istiklol 8-0 Istaravshan

(Boboev 14, Larin 16, A. Dzhalilov 50 90, Soirov 77, Orazsähedow 78, M. Dzhalilov 85, Panshanbe 88)

Torn apart by Istiklol, Istaravshan’s woes deepen

As Istaravshan failed to clear their lines, Sherriddin Boboev finished off Iskandar Dzhalilov’s marauding run from the right, guiding in with the outside of his boot inside 14 minutes. Ukainian Oleksiy Larin doubled Istiklol’s lead minutes later, bending in directly from a corner. Larin pounced as the visitors attempted to play out from the back, intercepting a wayward pass to tee up Alisher Dzhalilov who struck first time to make it 3-0. Rustam Soirov capped off a slick Istiklol combination to claim their fourth, and Wahyt Orazsähedow turned in number five. There was no let up for Istaravshan, as Manuchekhr Dzhalilov slotted in from a tight angle, Ehson Panjshanbe curled in from distance and A. Dzhalilov thumped in his second to round off a resounding victory. 

Highlights: Istiklol 8-0 Istaravshan

Lokomotiv Pamir 1-2 Regar-TadAZ

(Khasanov 79; Akhemdov 2, Ergashev 6)

Loko’s losing streak continues

Yokubjon Akhmedov rose highest to glance in Regar’s opener inside two minutes. Dorobjon Ergashev made it 2-0 on six minutes, allowed to connect with an inswinging corner unmarked. Hakin Khasanov sparked Loko’s resurgence, lifting over the keeper in the 79th minute, but it was too little too late for the hosts.

Highlights: Lokomotiv Pamir 1-2 Regar-TadAZ

Fayzkand 0-3 Khujand

(Bozorov 5 63, Safarov 90+3)

Dushanbe-83 2-1 Kuktosh

(Rashidbekov 71, Aminu 88; Daler 38)

CSKA 2-1 Khatlon

(Gaforov 19, Kalandarov B. 34; Baki-Akhunov 13)

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 5

Match Reports, News

16th-17th June 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 5

Regar-TadAZ 1-6 Istiklol

(Safarov 60; Panjshanbe 28, Boboev 36, A .Dhzalilov 61, Orazsähedow 76, Rakhimov 78, Soirov 87)

The Lions keep league top spot with Regar romp

Ehson Panjshanbe gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead, intercepting a sloppy clearance with his chest, hooking it onto his right and firing home. Doubling the deficit, Fatkhullo Boboev arrived in the hosts’ penalty area unmarked to routinely slot into the bottom corner inside 36 minutes. 

It took until the second half for the hosts to strike back, Oyatullo Safarov’s looping delivery deceiving the Lions’ keeper to nestle into the back of the net on the hour mark. Their hope of recovery wasn’t long lived, however, as Ehson Panjshanbem picked out the Istiklol skipper Alisher Dhzalilov, who steered in from close range one minute later.

Turkmenistan striker Wahyt Orazsähedow hit Istiklol’s fourth, before Muhammadjon Rakhimov added another, latching onto to A. Dhzalilov’s defence-piercing ball to tuck in. Rustam Soirov added an extra sheen to the scoreline, cruising goalwards unchallenged to make it six.

Highlights: Regar-TadAZ 1-6 Istiklol

CSKA Pamir Dushanbe 1-1 Fayzkand

(Gafforov 57; Safarzoda 72)

Shodibek Gafforov glanced in from Muhammadjon Rakhimov’s free-kick, whipped in dangerously from the right, to break the deadlock on 57 minutes. Fakhriddin Safarzoda supplied Fayzkand’s leveller, getting a crucial touch on an inswinging delivery.

Highlights: CSKA Pamir Dushanbe 1-1 Fayzkand

Istaravshan 1-2 Khujand

(Barotov 10; Safarov 62, Abdugafforov 78pen)

Mbeke Siebatcheu’s smart ball over the top found Ilhomjon Barotov, whose first-time finish put the Northern Tigers ahead in the 10th minute. As the tie moved into the final third, Manuchehr Safarov headed Khujand’s equaliser, before Oybek Abdugafforov dispatched the winner from the penalty spot on 78 minutes.

Highlights: Istaravshan 1-2 Khujand

Kuktosh 1-0 Lokomotiv Pamir

(Abdugafforov 35)

Khatlon 1-0 Dushanbe-83

(Sharipov 70)

Tajikistan football league: which team should I support?

News, Tajikistan Higher League

Wondering which Tajik team you should pledge allegiance to? Here’s the lowdown.

We have put together this handy guide to help you decide which Tajik team you are going to get behind this season.

The firm favourites and rank outsiders

Istiklol’s Manuchekhr Dzhalilov celebrates

Champions for the past six seasons, Istiklol could be the club for the glory hunters among us. Going by their successful start to the season, yet to lose, they are strong favourites to hoist the cup once more.

Comparing his team to Barcelona, club captain Alisher Dzhalilov describes Istiklol’s playing style as “attractive, well-orchestrated”.

Before Istiklol’s reign at the top, Regar-TadAZ held the title between 2001 and 2008 – with the exception of 2005, when they finished runners-up to Khatlon. Since the turn of the century, Khatlon also claimed the title in 2009, between the reigns of the league’s two major 21st-century forces. Starting the 2020/21 season strongly, they have been dubbed Tajikistan’s “own Leicester” by Spanish newspaper Diario AS.

Also considering themselves contenders are Khujand who, for three seasons on the trot, have finished runners-up. This season’s underdogs come in the shape of top tier debutants Fayzkand Vose and Dushanbe-83, who finished second and third, respectively, in the second division last year to earn promotion. 

Dushanbe-83

Who are your team’s Tajik counterparts?

The familiarity of a team’s kit, badge or nickname might play a part in your choice.

Dushanbe-83 don their take on the classic Argentina look, with a slightly bolder shade of blue, which may also appeal to Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton and Hove Albion enthusiasts. Khujand’s first strip of a blue shirt, blue shorts and white socks brings Chelsea to mind, and CSKA Pamir’s all-red garb evokes Premier league frontrunners Liverpool. Istaravshan’s yellow and black colour scheme might win over those who back Watford or the Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund.

Istaravshan’s badge

In the badge department, Istaravshan’s crest, reminiscent of Leeds United’s between 1984-1998, may sway a few decisions. Fayzkand’s ball-gripping eagle boasts similarities to south London’s Crystal Palace, and Kuktosh’s white horse could be an omen for followers of English League One’s Ipswich Town and Gillingham.

Supporters of La Liga’s Athletic Bilbao might find themselves drawn towards nickname-sharers Istiklol, who also go by ‘the Lions’. Likewise, fans of English Championship side Millwall will be eager to keep singing: 

Kuktosh’s badge

“As the Lions run on the pitch,
Everyone will sing, 
Let ’em come, Let ’em come, Let ’em come, 
Let ’em all come down to The Den, 
Let ’em come, Let ’em come, Let ’em come, 
We’ll only have to beat ’em again,
We’re the best team in London Tajikistan.”

Still undecided? Check out the teams’ profiles below.

CSKA Pamir Dushanbe

Based: Dushanbe (capital city)
Kit colour: red
Best performance: winners x2 (1992, 1995)
One to watch: Shodibek Gafforov
For fans of: Liverpool

CSKA Pamir Dushanbe

Dushanbe-83

Based: Dushanbe (capital city)
Kit colour: blue and white striped shirt, black shorts
Best performance: debutants 2020
Ones to watch: Elchibek Rashidbekov, Agbley Jones
For fans of: Brighton & Hove Albion, Sheffield Wednesday, Argentina

Did you know? Newly-promoted 83 have a strong Ghanaian influence. Among their ranks they boast five players hailing from the West African nation: Silvanus Evans (GK), Sadiq Musa (DF), Colins Adukhen (MF), Idris Aminu (FW), Agbley Jones (FW).

Dushanbe-83

Istaravshan

Based: Istaravshan (north)
Nickname: The Northern Tigers
Kit colour: yellow and black
Best performance: 2nd (1995)
One to watch Bakhtovar Zokirov
For fans of: Leeds United, Watford

Istaravshan

Istiklol

Based: Dushanbe (capital city)
Nickname: The Lions
Kit colour: red and black
Best performance: winners x8 (most recently 2019)
Ones to watch: Sheriddin Boboev (2019 top scorer), Manuchekhr Dzhalilov, Alisher Dzhalilov
For fans of: Manchester United, Barcelona

Did you know? The Lions won the domestic Tajikistan treble in 2019 – claiming the league title, the league cup and the Super Cup.

Alisher Dzhalilov, Istiklol captain: “You can compare Istiklol with Real Madrid or Barcelona, who also dominate in their league with attractive, well-orchestrated football.”

Istiklol

Fayzkand Vose

Based: Vose (south-west)
Kitcolour: red
Best performance: debutants 2020
Ones to watch: Mukhsin Maduloev, Navruz Rustamov, Dalerjon Tukhtasanov
For fans of: Crystal Palace

Fayzkand

Khatlon

Based: Qurghonteppa (south-west)
Kit colour: yellow
Best performance: winners x3 (1997, 2005, 2009)
One to watch: Karomatullo Saidov 
For fans of: Borussia Dortmund

Spanish newspaper Diario AS: “Tajikistan already has its own Leicester.”

Khatlon

Khujand

Based: Khujand (north)
Nickname: The Pitmen
Kit colour: blue and white
Best performance: runners-up (2019)
Ones to watch: Tursunali Rustamov, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, Sanjar Rikhsiboev
For fans of: Chelsea

Did you know? The Pitmen played and won their first football game 4-1 in 1925 “on a dry and empty field” against opposition from the northern area of Jabbor Rasulov.

Khujand

Kuktosh

Based: Kuktosh (west)
Kit colour: yellow and blue
Best performance: 3rd (2018)
One to watch: Muhiddin Odilov
For fans of: Ipswich Town, Gillingham, Oxford Town, Sweden

Kuktosh

Lokomotiv Pamir

Based: Dushanbe (capital city)
Nickname: The Railway Men
Kit colour: white and blue
Best performance: 10th (2000)
One to watch: Rustam Soirov
For fans of: Tottenham, Preston North End

Lokomotiv Pamir

Regar-TadAZ

Based: Tursunzoda (west)
Kit colour: red and white
Best performance: winners x7 (most recently 2008)
One to watch: Sherzod Makhamadiev
For fans of: Arsenal

Did you know? The club was established under the name Metallurg in 1975 by workers of the local aluminium industry. The western Tajikistan outfit have won the continental AFC President’s Cup three times: 2005, 2008 and 2009.

Regar-TadAZ

Tajikstan Higher League: gameweek 4

Match Reports, Tajikistan Higher League

25th-26th April 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 4

Istiklol 6-1 Kuktosh 

(M. Dzhalilov 15 65, Soirov 61 83 90+3, Rahimov 68; Nazarov 81)

Istiklol claim 200th league win in second-half demolition of Kuktosh

Kuktosh sought to expose an Istiklol side that had scraped a 2-2 draw with Khatlon on home soil a week prior. Early high pressing from the visitors however, resulted in an abundance of space for the Lions to move in and out of, as the build up to Alisher Dzhalilov’s miscued overhead kick inside three minutes, had proven. 

Alisher Dzhalilov latched onto a long ball over the top to set up Manuchekhr Dzhalilov who neatly tucked in on 15 minutes, to open the scoring. A slim 1-0 advantage at the interval, it wasn’t until the hour mark that Istiklol clicked into gear. M. Dzhalilov’s through ball cleaved apart the Kuktosh backline for Rustam Soirov to turn in and double their lead. 

Five minutes later, M.Dzhalilov steered his second of the day into the bottom corner. Moments later, Muhammad Rahimov claimed their fourth as the ball found a way in through the legs of the keeper. Kholmurod Nazarov jabbed in for Kuktosh on 81 minutes, but Istiklol struck back immediately, as Soirov found a way through a huddle of red shirts to make it 5-1.

Soirov swept in for his hat-trick as the Lions tore through the dishevelled visitors at speed to make it 6-1 in stoppage time.

Highlights: Istiklol 6-1 Kuktosh

Fayzkand 2-1 Istaravshan 

(Kurbanov 61, Murovov 67; Kodirov 45)

Fayzkand comeback to edge nine-man Istaravshan

Dushanbe-83 2-1 CSKA Pamir Dushanbe

(Fayzulloev 8 84; Bobiev 88)

Highlights: Dushanbe-83 2-1 CSKA Pamir Dushanbe

Khujand 2-1 Regar-TadAZ

(Rikhsiboev 24, Bozorov 42; Ganiev 22)

Lokomotiv Pamir 2-3 Khatlon

(Khasanov 59, Sulaymonov 82; Uzokov 30 38 67)

Highlights: Lokomotiv Pamir 2-3 Khatlon

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 2

Match Reports, News, Tajikistan Higher League

11th-12th April 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 2

Khujand 2-3 Khatlon

(Rikhsiboev 48, Bozorov 90+4; Uzokov 20, Avgonov 35, Baki-Akhunov 72)

Khatlon continue winning run downing weary Khujand on the road

Some thorough tackling and cautious clearances – hurled back and forth – made for a frenetic opening to the match. Khatlon, resplendent in yellow, acted first to take the reins. 

A dangerous deliverer of the ball, and keen to pull the trigger from distance, Khatlon’s No66 Naimjon Ibrahimzoda posed a constant threat from the right. Given too much room to cut inside onto his lethal left peg, in the 20th minute, the right back curled in a pinpoint cross to pick out Khudoidod Uzokov. Dropping into the path of the No10, he only had to make a connection to steer in the opener. 

Highlights: Khujand 2-3 Khatlon

Khatlon’s advantage was doubled in the 35th minute – Khujand’s defence still hadn’t learnt their lesson, reacting slowly in shutting down Sorbon Avgonov, as he was allowed to casually bend into the top bin.

Khujand’s front line had been forced to feed off scraps in the first period, but from restart Khatlon were caught napping. Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev broke down the right to whip across the face of goal for Sanjar Rikhsiboev to turn in at the back post, bringing the hosts back into the tie.

Escaping a few moments of unease, Khatlon will thank the safe hands of Ghanaian keeper Quaye Godson, whose sterling shift between the sticks ensured his side kept the upper hand.

Parviz Baki-Akhunov converted the visitors’ third, blasting in off the upright on 72 minutes. And, despite a late resurgence through Dilshod Bozorov’s injury-time tap in, it was too late for Khujand to salvage a point. 

Istiklol’s line-up

Istiklol 2-0 CSKA Pamir

(A.Dzhalilov 18, Boboev 86)

The Lions’ persevere to seal victory  

Alisher Dzhalilov broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, capitalising as CSKA failed to clear their lines – the No10 able to take a touch, pick his spot and drill low into the bottom corner.

Penned back for the most part, CSKA struggled to subdue the sharp Istiklol front line. In spite of ample opportunities however, the hosts failed to complete some slick passages of play and increase the deficit until the late arrival of Sheriddin Boboev

Coming off the bench in the 75th minute, for the second match on the trot, Boboev killed off the tie, as he walloped home Istiklol’s second and high-fived the ball boys with minutes left on the clock.

Highlights: Istiklol 2-0 CSKA Pamir

Lokomotiv-Pamir 1-0 Dushanbe-83

(Ruziev OG 75)

Loko edge unlucky Dushanbe-83 to claim all three points late on

Loko’s Shakhrom Sulaimonov

Izatullo Ruziev’s own goal was all that separated the sides at the final whistle. Shakhrom Sulaimonov’s searching 75th-minute free-kick – redirected by the Dushanbe-83 keeper – was inadvertently turned into the visitors’ net by the backtracking centre-half. 

Dushanbe-83 had shown early promise, and for the majority of the match, looked the brightest side. Set up with intent, boasting a 4-2-4 formation, they sought to bounce back from the 7-0 mid-week hammering at the hands of Istiklol. Lokomotiv were aiming for their first win of the campaign following a 2-2 season-opener with Fayzkand.

A Dushanbe flurry inside 12 minutes set the tone, and Ismoil Alimardonov’s side-footed effort from the left forced the Loko shot-stopper into action. The Railway Men soon replied however, as Ozodbek Panjiev combined with Shakhrom Sulaimonov on the edge of the area to test the visitors’ custodian.

Loko’s Khakimdzhon Khasanov skips through

Relying on counter-attacks to breach a regimented home defence, 83 moved in their numbers, as swarms of sky blue jerseys were quick to both surge forward, and mute Loko’s advances.

From start to finish, causing the home side problems, was Dushanbe-83’s Ghanaian forward unit consisting of Idris Aminu, Agbley Jones and Colins Adukhen. Bursting forwards and chasing back, they battled for every loose ball, pouncing on any whiff of a chance. Their most promising attacking move came as Adukhen’s delivery, sliced in with the outside of his boot, was fired goalwards by Jones, who flung himself airborne to strike on the flying volley. 

Nearing the final whistle, with the hosts narrowly leading and Dushanbe still turning the screw, Sulaimonov had the chance to kill the game off for Loko. His in-swinging free-kick though, was tipped onto the woodwork.

Highlights: Lokomotiv-Pamir 1-0 Dushanbe-83

Fayzkand 3-2 Regar-TadAZ

(Kovussho 6pen, Uzokov 45 + 1, Eminov 77, Tukhtasunov 79, Safarov 85)

Istaravshan 0-3 Kuktosh

(Kholmatov 79, Sultonov 83, Daler Yodgorov 90 + 1)

Highlights: Istaravshan 0-3 Kuktosh

Tajikistan Higher League: gameweek 1

Match Reports, News, Tajikistan Higher League

5th-8th April 2020
Tajikistan Higher League
Gameweek 1

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. 

Highlights: Dushanbe-83 0-7 Istiklol

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.

Highlights: CSKA Pamir 1-3 Khujand

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.

Tajikistan Higher League highlights: Lokomotiv Pamir 2-2 Fayzkand

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.

Tajikistan Federal Cup 2020 highlights: Kuktosh 2-1 Ravshan Kulob

Who is CSKA’s Dilshod Vasiev?

Player profiles, Tajikistan Higher League

Dilshod Vasiev scored his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win against Lokomotiv Pamir on matchday three. The Tajikistan veteran – 50 international caps – played his football at Khujand last season, recording a six-goal tally in 20 matches. The 32-year-old signed for CSKA Pamir in March 2020.

Highlights: CSKA Pamir Dushanbe 3-1 Lokomotiv Pamir