Uzbek El 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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
18/08/17 – Dynamo Samarkand vs. Pakhtakor Tashkent
19/08/17 – Neftchi Fergana vs. Navbahor Namangan