Uzbek Classico : Pakhtakor Six Stuns Neftchi

Pakhtakor Tashkent have given their season a much needed boost following a thoroughly impressive 6-0 victory against major rivals Neftchi Fergana in week 17 of the Uzbek top flight season. A record result in this fixture.


Slow Burner

In what was a competitive first half of action, neither side was able to get a foothold in the game and break the deadlock, with Pakhtakor perhaps being most guilty of failing to make the most of their opportunities with some wayward attempts on goal.


Speaking in a Pakhtakor press conference after the game, Pakhtakor manager and Georgian legend Shota Arveladze, spoke of the change in how his side approached the second half.

“We played well in the first half and created many dangerous moments, but could not score. In the second half we played faster and more accurately. As a result, we accomplished the plan.”

Pakhtakor Coach – Arveladze

Second Half Surge

With added intensity from Pakhtakor in the second half, the goal floodgates opened. Akhmedov opened the scoring after 53 minutes with a brilliant individual effort, beating several defenders before keeping his composure to finish a fine piece of play.


Further goals were not long in coming with Sergeev (’60, ’64) and Bezerra (’78, 87) adding quick fire doubles to the score sheet, all the more impressive for Thiago Bezerra on debut. Vladimir Kozak complete the rout in the final minute to leave home fans delighted among a crowd of 6155 at the Pakhtakor Markaziy Stadium. Also of note, Sergeev’s first effort was Pakhtakors 1700th goal in the Uzbek top flight, a national record.


Victory carried extra emotion for those involved with Pakhtakor, coming on the weekend anniversary of the 1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk air disaster which claimed 17 Pakhtakor players and staff among the total 178 victims. This victory is another fine tribute to add to those paid by the club this week to remember those of the 1979 Pakhtakor team.

’79 Team Remembered

Much Work to do for League Progress

This result could prove pivotal for both sides as it moves Pakhtakor closer to the top in fourth, just one point away from third place and only a further point away from second . In contrast Neftchi now solidly occupy the relegation playoff position, now six points away from safety, and with the second half performance against Pakhtakor, it is hard to see cause for optimism for the Fergana based fans.


Next weekend Pakhtakor will look to build on momentum, traveling to face 12th placed Dynamo Samarkand in a crucial game, with only six points separating 2nd to 9th place in the league. For Neftchi, they will be desperate for points, though a home fixture against a Navbahor Namangan side without a win in their last three presents an opportunity for this.


With most places in the league still in the balance, next weeks games could have a serious impact on how this season’s Uzbek Oliy League shakes out, but for now the Pakhtakor faithful are sure to be happy following this result. For Neftchi, there is still much to do to save their season.

Next Fixtures-

18/08/17 – Dynamo Samarkand vs. Pakhtakor Tashkent

19/08/17 –  Neftchi Fergana vs. Navbahor Namangan


Pakhtakor – Neftchi – 6:0 (0:0)
12 August. Tashkent. Pakhtakor stadium. 6155 spectators.
Referee: Aziz Asimov (Tashkent).
Pakhtakor: Lobanov, Kozak, Simic (c), Azamov, Khoshimov, Akhmedov, Iskanderov (Ismatullaev, 85), Bezerra, Nurullaev (Ibrokhimov, 68), Karimov (Kanuk, 80), Sergeev.
Neftchi: Yusupov, Tursunov, Kapadze, Muzaffarov, Tuychiboev, Rakhimov, Namozov (Abdulkhoqov, 46), Ismoilov, Saidov (Khakimov, 29), Shogulomov, Khaydarov (Mamazulunov, 78).
Goals: Akhmedov, 53 – 1:0. Sergeev, 60 – 2:0. Sergeev, 64 – 3:0. Bezerra, 78 – 4:0. Bezerra, 87 – 5:0. Kozak, 89 – 6:0.
Yellow Cards: ♦Khakimov, 51. ♦Ibrokhimov, 67. ♦Kanuk, 86.
Red Cards – 

Soccer Camera

Video Refereeing – Trials and Tribulations

History has been made this week in the annual FIFA World Club Cup championship with video referee trials featuring alongside Real Madrid’s success in overcoming Kashima Antlers after extra time to claim the second world title in the competition.

Speaking in 2008, as reported by CBC, after initial test of a video refereeing system, FIFA’s ex President Sepp Blatter came out strongly against using such a system, stating “Let it be as it is and let’s leave (soccer) with errors”. However, his controversial departure seems to have opened the door to potential future uses of such systems. They have been trialled on occasion, firstly with France hosting Italy in a friendly in Paris this September, with The Telegraph reporting UEFA President Gianni Infantino speaking positively of the new system. “We turned a new page in football’s history book,”, though cautiously suggesting ““We must use it in a way that does not have a negative impact on the flow of the game and the game itself.” Referee that evening, Bjorn Kuipers also spoke positively of the new system stating


“The players again accepted (the decisions) immediately. This trust by the players gave me a lot of confidence.”


However since September, the systems use has not been without controversy. The Guardian reported on it’s first major impact during it’s first use during a competitive top-tier match in a Dutch Cup fixture between Ajax and Willem II. Willem II’s Anouar Kali was sent off after 60 minutes when his on field yellow card was overturned into a red card on review by the video referee, helping to turn the tide to an 5-0 Ajax win. Though the decision was accepted by players, it left the crowd confused as to proceedings as explained by referee of the evening Pol van Boekel. “We do hope that there will be some communication for the public in the future, they have a right to it,”.

A photo posted by AXIWI (@axiwi_international) on

 *Trial in the Dutch Cup.

The systems use in it’s first FIFA sanctioned tournament this week, has turned out to be a catalyst for controversy around the system. As reported by Sky Sports, the semi-final between Atletico Nacional (COL) and Kashima Antlers (JAP) featured the system being tested as a trip by Orlando Berrio on Daigo Nishi in the penalty are was not spotted by referee Viktor Kassai on the field. Following a delay of some three minutes during a throw-in, the referee was alerted to the incident by the video referee and pulled play back to award the spot-kick causing confusion, particularly among Athletico Nacional players and their captain Alexis Henriquez saying “I don’t understand it because Kashima’s players didn’t argue and carried on playing.” Henriquez continued,

*Kassai awards landmark penalty

“That’s what surprised me the most. The decision killed us, it was a huge blow. It took the referee two minutes to come to that conclusion.” going on to say “I don’t know if this system will work. It’s going to be a complicated issue in the future. The technology takes away the essence of football.”

Things went a little more smoothly in the Final between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers, notably the video referee confirming a disallowed Ronaldo goal for offside, FIFA president still admitted that there were ‘teething problems’ to overcome, according to


“Of course there are learnings, of course there are a few topics that we have to look into and discuss in more detail, but the result is extremely positive,”


So despite it’s rocky start to life as a tool for referees, it seems as though only time will tell if be a welcomed additional to the game, much like referee marking spray, or be a continued source for debate as has been the case for the “Additional Assistant Referee”. As for video referees, the debate is sure to grow as the system becomes more widespead in the game into the future.