League Cup success for Istaravshan
Kairakum: FC Istaravshan claimed a rare trophy, picking up pre-season silverware with a 2-1 win over CSKA Dushanbe in the final of the Tajikistan Football League Cup at Bakhoristion Stadium on Wednesday.
Goals from Zufar Akbaraliev and Ilkhomjon Baratov proved decisive for Istaravshan, who appear poised for a competitive campaign when the 2020 Tajik League campaign begins next month.
Istaravshan’s title is their first trophy since lifting the second tier Tajikistan First League title in 2018, and comes less than three years after their promotion from regional football.
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With both sides coming into the decider after penalty shootout wins in their respective semi-finals on Monday, it took just 10 minutes for Akbaraliev to open the scoring, with Baratov doubling the advantage on the hour mark.
CSKA’s Shodibek Gaffarov pulled a goal back seven minutes later, but the Dushanbe outfit couldn’t force extra-time for the second time in three days, with Akbaraliev named man of the match as Istaravshan sealed the title.
Earlier, Dushanbe-83 sealed third place with a 2-1 win over Kuktosh, with Daler Imomnazarov and Ghanianan signing Colins Aduchene finding the back of the net.
The Tajikistan Football League Cup was held over a nine-day period at the Bakhoriston Sanitorum, with matches also held in nearby Guliston.
The competition was the second pre-season tournament to be held in the nation this season, with Kuktosh beating Ravshan to lift the FFT Cup earlier this month.
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