23th-24th August 2020 Tajikistan Higher League Gameweek 13
Istaravshan 1-2 Istiklol
(Ashurmamadov 23; Panjshanbe 59pen, Soirov 89)
Istaravshan’s 23rd-minute opener against the league leaders certainly wasn’t in the script. As Istiklol failed to clear their lines from a corner, on the edge of the six yard box, Ashurmamadov’s instinctive thump proved too powerful, slipping between the keeper’s gloves to give the 8th-placed hosts the lead. As the end of the first half neared, the Lions looked likely to draw level as A. Dzhalilov was hauled down in the penalty area. M. Dhzalilov’s strike from the spot, however, was acrobatically saved by the Istaravshan shot-stopper, preserving their advantage. It took until the 59th minute for the visitors to level through a second penalty; this time dispatched clinically by Panjshanbe. As the final whistle loomed and the hosts looked to have secured a well-earned point, their hard work was cruelly undone; Soirov tucking in from close range in the 89th minute to clinch Istiklol’s 11th win of the campaign.
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.
18th-22nd April 2020 Tajikistan Higher League Gameweek 3
Kuktosh 1-1 Khujand
(Rasulov 41; Saidkhodzha 57)
Kuktosh and Khujand share the spoils as the hosts continue their unbeaten run
Kuktosh took the lead in the 41st minute though Hikmatullo Rasulov. Khujand were slow to react as a quickly-taken corner from the left was rolled into Rasulov. All the time in the world, he takes a few touches to nudge it closer, picks his spot and whips it into the top corner.
The visitors levelled early in the second half with a well-worked move. Laid into Mukhammadsharifi Saidkhodzha on the right flank, he shakes off his man by cutting back and squares across the penalty area. Sanjar Rihksiboev dummies, leaping over his pass, allowing it to fall into the tracks of Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev who wallops it home.
Deep into stoppage time, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev had the chance to snatch all three points for Khujand. But his free-kick, struck side-footed from the edge of the penalty area, was denied by Kurbonali Boboev, who lept high to tip it to safety.
Dzhalilov levels from the penalty spot in late drama against ten-man Khatlon
Umarjon Sharipov’s 80th-minute dismissal had left Khatlon defending their 2-1 lead against a Istiklol side who had dominated the second half.
In stoppage time though, Manuchekhr Dzhalilov made no mistakes as he dispatched from the penalty spot to level the scoring and clinch a point for Istiklol.
Khatlon had taken the lead inside nine minutes. Hussein Nurmatov’s shrewdly taken free-kick was switched cross-field to Naimjon Ibrahimzoda, and the right back launched goalwards from distance. Spilled by the Istiklol custodian, Parviz Baki-Akhunov reacted quickest to turn it in.
The Lions equalised just after the half-hour mark, as the visitors failed to deal with Alisher Dzhalilov’s devilish inswinging corner. An attempted headed clearance fell conveniently for Manuchekhr Dzhalilov at the back post, who guided in.
Putting the visitors in front going in at the break, a botched Istiklol clearance was pounced upon by Khatlon captain Umarjon Sharipov. Weaving in and out of the red jerseys, finding a passage through to goal, he placed it clinically into the bottom corner, just before the half-time whistle.
In a wave of second-half Istiklol attacks, Manuchekhr Dzhalilov’s superbly struck 59th-minute free-kick had the keeper beaten as it crashed off the woodwork, before the No63 found himself through on goal again, this time to be denied by Kuaye Godson’s outstretched limb. Called into action moments later, Khalton’s Godson got low to smother Istiklol defender Zoir Juraboev’s glanced effort.
Khatlon were forced to battle through the final ten minutes with ten men, and in the dying stages of game saw their hard work undone as Manuchekhr Dzhalilov’s spot kick ensured the sides shared the spoils.
CSKA Pamir Dushanbe 3-1 Lokomotiv Pamir
(Gafforov 6, Vasiev 30, Zoirov 50; Ibragimov 79)
Regar-TadAZ 4-1 Istaravshan
(Makhamadiev 1 51, Ganiev 59 67; Barotov 37)
Makhamadiev and Ganiev at the double as hosts hit four to claim first victory in style
Off to a flying start, Sherzod Makhamadiev skipped past the onrushing Istaravshan keeper to coolly slot home and give Regar the lead inside the first minute of play.
Istaravshan soon found their feet, nevertheless, as Cameroonian Mbeke Deudone conjured up several decent opportunities. His best, a long-range effort tipped over the woodwork.
The visitors struck back on 37 minutes through Ilhomjon Barotov. Receiving it on the edge of the area, Barotov swivelled before bending it beyond the sprawling keeper to level.
Having clawed their way back into tie, Istaravshan had gained some momentum. But as the second half kicked off, that soon unravelled as Regar once again took charge. Makhamadiev fired the hosts back in front in the 51st minute, as he arrived inside the penalty area undetected.
Throughout the fixture, Istaravshan had struggled to cope with Regar’s pace on the right flank, particularly the jet-heeled Khodzhiakbar Uzokov. The No17, who had zipped through the sluggish yellow back line to spark the opening goal, helped deepen the visitors woes, yet again.
Drawing out yellow shirts in their numbers, he ventured into Istaravshan territory. Cutting inside, he squared to Dilovarsho Ganiev, whose fine strike soared into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
Ganiev struck again in the 67th minute, hitting Regar’s fourth, as Istaravshan attempted to play out from the back. Pouncing on a loose ball, a cheeky dink with the outside of his boot floated over the keeper to put an extra sheen on the scoreline.