Top of the Table Clash on the Final Matchday to Conclude Uzbekistan Super League
Kick Off: Sun 1 Novermber 2020, 12:00 PM GMT
Venue: OKMK Stadium, Olmaliq, Uzbekistan
Video Link: https://mycujoo.tv/en/national/uzbekistan-football-federation-j9s5gb?id=109570&play=true&tvId=296
FK AGMK host champions elect FK Pakhtakor as they seek a win on the final matchday to leapfrog Nasaf Qarshi and claim second place and a place in the AFC Champions League qualification round for next season.
Алмалыкский горно-металлургический комбинат футбол клуби, anglicised as Almalykskiy Gorno-Mettalurgichesky Kombinat Futbol Klubi (FK AGMK) have had an excellent season so far. Having come only a couple places above relegation last season, The Miners have occupied second place in the USL for most of the season. However, after losing two games on the spin, including against fellow Champions League hopefuls Nasaf Qarshi, they both need to win their final game and hope Kokand 1912 do them a favour by beating Nasaf Qarshi.
Mirjalol Qosimov's side have only ever qualified for the Champions League on one occasion before in 2019 via the Cup, but failed to reach the groups stage. They will be hard put to make a second entry into the competition with a rampant FK Pakhtakor side who have only lost 1 domestic match this season and have already clinched their 13th league title.
Пахтакор футбол клуби, which translates as Cotton Growers Football Club are the dominant side in Uzbekistan, having won 12 league titles and 11 Uzbek cups since the foundation of the league in 1992. Continentally, they were also the only Uzbekistan club to feature in the USSR top flight, and are a mainstay of the AFC Champions League. Despite only progressing as far as the semi-finals they are an ever-present and hold the record of consecutive years participating in the competition (2002-2014).
This season, the Lions have dominated domestically, sitting 10 points ahead of second place with a game at hand and have only lost once back in June to Sogdiana after the league was paused for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the suspension of the league, Pakhtakor have a final game in a weeks time against mid-table Bunyodkor, this penultimate match would be considered the sterner test.
They put in a strong show in the the Champions League before its suspension, making it to the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Iranian side Persepolis. With the Uzbekistan Cup being suspended this season they have already won the only silverware available to them and AGMK will be hoping that the side will play like they have nothing to play for.
That is unlikely as the champions elect have gone from strength to strength since the suspension of football in Uzbekistan. In particular, the attacking trio of Dragan Ceran , Igor Sergeev, and former Bayer Leverkusen and Switzerland international Eren Derdiyok have shown no signs of letting up. With 40 goals between them and Ceran looking to secure the Golden Boot they will be thirsty for more goals.
Since their only loss against Sogdiana, the first match post-suspension, Pakhtakor have only drawn twice in 16 matches and are on a 6 match winning run. However, AGMK will take heart from the fact that they forced one of those draws, a 2-2 thriller at the Pakhtakor Central Stadium and will be keen to do one better at the OKMK Stadium in Olmaliq on Sunday.
Link's to the club websites and social media accounts are below.