We are back with another Central Asia roundup. If you missed the last one then you can check that out here. We also have an individual roundup of the final round in Iran, you can read that here.
Relegation six-pointer on Day 5 in Kyrgyzstan
Let’s kick this off in Kyrgyzstan. On Wednesday last week, Dordoi Bishkek and Nefti drew 2-2, while on Saturday Alay beat Alga 3-0 in the mid-table clash and Abdish-Ata beat FTs Bishkek.
Then on Sunday, it was the all-important relegation dogfight between the two bottom sides Akademiy futbola and Kara-Balta. And what a thriller it was! Kara-Balta came out on top in a 4-3 win and have now three points, only three points off safety, while Akademiy still sit bottom with 0 points.
Still tight at the top in Tajikistan
On Sunday the main point of the seventh round in Tajikistan commenced and league leaders Khujand beat Panjsher 4-0. Regar-TadAZ could take a huge step away from the bottom with a win over Khatlon but fell to a 3-1 defeat and are still only two points above the playoff spot.
The final game on Sunday saw bottom of the table Barki Tajik suffer heartbreak as they lost 3-2 to Kuktosh and still have only one point. Kuktosh are now sniffing at the heels of the leaders, only four points off the top in fourth place. CSKA Pomir and Istiqlol will play their match on Wednesday next week.
Little action in Turkmenistan
Over in Turkmenistan not much has happened since last time as only two matches have been played.
On Thursday Asgabat jumped to first place after a 1-0 victory over Balkan, who are still bottom of the league with their miserable three points from seven games.
On Friday Sagadam retook the lead from Asgabat as they beat Energetik 1-0, who are sitting dangerously close to bottom spot should Balkan decide to pick up their pace, with only three points and Kopetdag Asgabat in between them.
Busy Uzbekistan keep it close around the top spots
Boy have the Uzbeks been busy since last time. They’ve managed to cram in a midweek round as well as the normal weekend action, so let’s go back a week then.
Low scoring affairs were all over the place as Neftchi v Metalourg and AGMK v Nasaf both ended in 0-0, while Buxoro beat Qizilqum 1-0, as did Pakhtakor in their win over Navbahor. Sogdiana and Kokand 1912 drew 1-1 while Bunyodkor lost a second straight game after being beaten by Lokomotiv 2-1.
This weekend saw Pakhtakor end their winning streak of three matches as they drew 0-0 with Lokomotiv on Sunday. Neftchi, who are bottom of the league got yet another draw as they played 1-1 with Navbahor. The final game on Sunday saw Metalourg beat second-place Buxoro, stopping them from taking the league lead and climbing into the top half themselves.
Yesterday Bunyodkor knew they could equal Pakhtakor on points with a win over Kokand 1912, but they slipped up yet again as Kokand won 1-0. They need to stop their poor run this weekend if they want any chance of winning the title. Elsewhere Sogdiana took a big step away from the bottom spot with a 2-1 win over Nasaf and now have a four-point gap down to Neftchi, while in the final game Qizilqum beat AGMK 3-0 and leapfrogged them in the table, on the same amount of points but with a better goal difference.
So that is all from the Central region of Asia this week. Come back a little later for the South East Asia roundup and don’t forget to check in next week for the latest from the Central zone.