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The country's record holder Pakhtakor: the head coach and the match with Pyunik in the 2000s

Pyunik continues playing friendly matches in the framework of the training camp going on abroad. In recent days, our team has been holding control matches with a tight schedule and on February 14, they will play against the current champion of Uzbekistan, Pakhtakor.

Pakhtakor was founded in 1956. The team representing the capital of Uzbekistan became the country's champion record 16 times and won the cup 13 times. From 2003 till today, the club has reached the group stage of the AFC Champions League. We are going to highlight the most important moments in the history of our upcoming rival, from the unfortunate plane crash to the country's absolute record holder.

Tashkent team in the USSR

Pakhtakor has participated in all championships of the Soviet Union since its foundation. The Cotton Growers managed to win the First League once and the cup of the same league twice in the USSR tournaments. The Uzbek team reached the final of the Soviet Union Cup in the 1967/68 season, but lost 0:1 to Torpedo Moscow.

One of the significant achievements of Pakhtakor in the last century was the championship in the IFA Shield tournament in 1993. It is an annual football competition organized by the Football Association of India and involves teams from different countries.

Absolute record holder

The Tashkent team has been participating in the domestic championship since 1992. After the collapse of the USSR, in the first season, Pakhtakor became champion and started the hegemony. After that year, the Cotton Growers became national champions record 15 times, lifted the cup 13 times and the Supercup twice.

​Tashkent - Minsk: the ill-fated flight

On August 11, 1979, at 1:35 p.m., at an altitude of 8,400 m in the Dneprodzerzhinsk region, two TU-134 A passenger planes collided, one of which was flying from Tashkent to Minsk. As a result of the plane crash, a total of 178 people died, including 17 footballers and staff members from Pakhtakor.

After this tragedy, players from other teams and people with other professions helped Pakhtakor in difficult times and sustained the club. Besides, a new point was added to the regulations of the USSR Football Championship, according to which, for 3 years, regardless of the results, Pakhtakor had to keep its place in the Premier League.

The main tournament of the continent

First time Pakhtakor took part in the qualifying round of the AFC Champions League in the

1994/95 season, but failed to qualify for the group stage. In 2003, the Cotton Growers broke the ice and made their debut in the most prestigious tournament in Asia. Up to now they have appeared in the group stage for 20 consecutive seasons.

In the Champions League, our opponent advanced the most in their debut season and the following year. For the first time, on the way to the final, the Uzbek team was defeated by the Thai Police Tero 2:3. Then, next year, Pakhtakor faced South Korean Seongnam which won the confrontation 2:0.

The Cotton Growers came 3rd in the group stage of the current season of the most prestigious tournament of the continent and dropped out of the competition.

Pakhtakor - current champion of Uzbekistan

The Uzbekistan championship, Superliga, is held in the spring-autumn format. In the finished season, our upcoming rival became the country’s champion. Pakhtakor scored 53 points and left behind Nasaf and Navbahor.

Six footballers from Pakhtakor are invited to the Uzbekistan national team, as well as Pavel Pavlyuchenko is invited to the Belarus national team and Kimi Merk to the Kyrgyzstan national team. 11 footballers from the capital team are invited to youth teams of the country.

Since 2022, Pakhtakor has been headed by Maksim Shatskikh, who was the temporary sports director of the club months before taking the position of the coach.

Shatskikh won the Super League twice with the Cotton Growers. The 45-year-old specialist likes to use a 4-2-3-1 formation. Previously, the Uzbek coach worked for Volgograd and was in the system of the Kyiv Dynamo club. He worked with youth teams and was included in the coaching staff of the main team.

It is noteworthy that as a footballer, Shatskikh competed with Pyunik in the 2002/2003 Champions League qualifying round for Dynamo Kyiv. The Uzbek scored a goal against us in both legs and the Ukrainian team won with a total score of 6:2.
Maksim Shatskikh was considered one of the famous players of Uzbekistan during his football career. With Dynamo Kyiv, he became the champion of Ukraine 8 times, 5 times the cup winner and 4 times the Super Cup winner. Also, Shatskikh was named the best player of Uzbekistan 4 times.

Pakhtakor celebrated 3 victories, registered one draw and one defeat in the last 5 matches of the championship.

The record holders

The top scorer of the completed season was the Cotton Growers’ forward Dragan Ceran with 13 goals. The Serbian footballer has been in Pakhtakor for 6 years and managed to become a legend of this club. Ceran scored 117 goals in 184 games and became the best scorer in the history of the club, overcoming Igor Sergeev. Gennadi Denisov played the most matches for the club, he participated in 404 matches in the USSR.

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