Its been a while since I last wrote one of these, a regional round up where we let you know everything that’s been going on in just about every country that has a football league!
Central Asia has taken somewhat of a hit these past weeks with their main attraction the Iranian League coming to an end. But, we’re not going to let that stop us from covering other leagues with Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan stepping forward and taking centre stage.
Take your pick in the Top Liga!
I have seen many starts to many different seasons and sometimes an early contender starts to take control. Over in Kyrgyzstan, you have the pick of five clubs! Impressive right? Even more so when there is only eight teams in the whole of the league. Only four points separate first placed Alay Osh and fifth placed Alga.
To put this in to respective, the top five have only tasted defeat twice this season combined, and that is only when they have come up against each other on the couple of occasions.
Alay Osh have a game in hand to play against forth placed Dordoi Bishkek, with this in mind they have to be the leading contenders. In their last game they racked up an impressive 3-0 home victory against Alga. This was an important scalp as the more teams you can beat that are occupying the top four spots, the more chance they have of creating that gap.
That gap is failing to grow at this current moment though with the leagues in-form side hot on the leaders tails. Kant have won their last two games emphatically, with their greatest success coming against bottom side Akademiy Futbola, scoring with ease in a SEVEN- nil win in front of their home fans.
One AFC Spot, Only Two Challengers!
It is early days in all of these Central Asian Leagues but you wouldn’t know that in Tajikistan. With only survival or a sole AFC spot to play for you either stick or twist.
Both Khujand and Istiqlol Dushanbe occupy 16 points after six played and have a six point cushion to teams below them. The difference? Istiqlol Dushanbe have a game in hand against fifth placed CSKA-Pomir aswell has having the better head to head record. If you cast your minds back to round four, Istiqlol secured a 1-0 victory at home to Khujand giving them the advantage.
Things continue to look bleak at the bottom for Barqi Tojik who laboured to another defeat at the weekend, losing their fifth game in a row. What made this even worse is the fact they lost to their fellow strugglers who occupy the relegation spots with them Punjsher in a lacklustre 2-0 away defeat.
AFC Cup Takes Over in Turkmenistan
With the two main contenders of the Yokary Liga enjoying their vacation to the AFC Cup, it was time for the other teams to take centre stage back home.
Ahal have had a torrid time in their group already knowing they will be back to league action very shortly where as Altyn Asyr who are in the same group as their fellow countrymen, need victory in their final group game to have any chance of qualifying, anyway back to league action.
The other teams in the league are all three games ahead, but without the significant gap which teams can not seem to create, Ahal and Altyn Asyr will surely resume normal service once they return.
Creating that gap will be vital for teams to stand any chance and Sagadam are doing their best at the top! Winning their last two games was vital and an impressive 3-2 victory over Merw stands out. Second placed FC Asgabat slipped on a banana skin some would say by drawing at home to second bottom, Kopetdag Asgabat 1-1.
There was also a win for Energetik who beat bottom side FC Balkan whose season just slips from bad to worst every weekend.
There you have it…
Another week done, and things are certainly becoming a lot clearer in Central Asia. The top at the bottom of each league is starting to take shape as teams look for dominance. But remember, this is football! Anything can happen and that’s why you should come back next week to see if anything actually does change! Till then.