Central Asian domestic wrap: Alay out but not down, Kokand light up League Cup

Published on: 08 July 2019

Kuala Lumpur: Kyrgyz Republic pacesetters FC Alay Osh suffered an early cup exit, while FC Kokand 1912 produced a stunning week in Uzbekistan while Turkmenistan champions Altyn Asyr FC regained top spot.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC: Alay’s cup run over, title chase on course

FC Alay Osh started and finished the week on top of the table, but a midweek 2-1 defeat to Neftchi Kochkor-Ata ended their Kyrgyzstan Cup campaign at the quarter-final stage in a week of highs and lows for the Kyrgyz Premier League’s form team.

Saturday’s return to league action brought swift revenge for Alay, who earned a 1-0 win over Neftchi on Saturday thanks to an Akramzhon Umarov goal, while national team stars Azamat Baimatov, Bekzhan Sagynbaev and Ernist Batyrkanov all got on the scoresheet as defending champions FC Dordoi beat Abdish-Ata 5-0 on Sunday.

In other Cup quarter-finals staged earlier in the week, Dordoi - who have defeated Alay in the past three finals - strolled into the last four with a 4-0 win over Kara-Balta, while Alga Bishkek and FK Akademija-Lider also progressed with wins.

Alay remain eight points clear of Dordoi, who have one game in hand, but Kyrgyz Republic’s big two will renew their competitive rivalry on multiple fronts in the potentially season-defining week to come, with a league clash on Wednesday to be followed by a battle for the Kyrgyz Super Cup in Osh next Saturday.

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UZBEKISTAN: Kokand on fire in League Cup

FC Kokand 1912 may be stuck at the bottom of the Uzbekistan Super League table, but they continue to cut a swathe through the field in the Uzbek League Cup with two emphatic wins in the space of four days headlining a busy week in the competition.

Having already beaten Pakhtakor 4-0 in their opening group stage match back in May, Uzbekistan’s oldest club thrashed high-flying PFC Lokomotiv 4-0 on Wednesday, before registering a 6-1 win over FK Bukhara to top Group B with a remarkable 14 goals in three matches.

Runaway league leaders Pakhtakor ensured their passage to the last eight with a 2-1 win over Lokomotiv thanks to Igor Sergeev’s 75th-minute decider, while Andijon and Nasaf also registered victories on Sunday to advance from Group D.

AGMK emerged from a seven-goal thriller against Bunyodkor as 4-3 winners on Friday to advance on top of Group C, while Metallurg Bekabad, Surkhon and Dinamo Samarkand also advanced to the quarter-finals, to be held in late August.

TURKMENISTAN: Altyn Asyr roar back to top spot

Altyn Asyr FC took two major steps toward a sixth consecutive Yokary Liga title, winning two catch-up matches in four days to leapfrog Shagadam into top spot at the halfway point of the season,

Shagadam had been five points ahead before Yazguly Hojageldiyev’s side completed their two games in hand in fine style, beating FK Merw 6-0 on Monday, before earning a 2-1 away over crosstown rivals FK Ashgabat three days later.

As the sole remaining Central Asian club in the 2019 AFC Cup, Altyn Asyr will face either Hanoi FC or Becamex Binh Duong in next month’s Inter-Zone Finals.

Photo: FC Alay Osh

Source: the-afc.com