Neftchi continued their fine unbeaten run in the Uzbekistan League with a 2-1 win over Metallurg in the sixth round recently.
Anvar Berdiev opened the scoring in the 56th minute after a barren first half and four minutes later Nosir Otakuziev cemented the pace-setters’ advantage. Dilmurod Karimov pulled one back 10 minutes from time but Neftchi hung on for their sixth straight win which took them to 18 points atop the 16-team table.
Defending champions Pakhtakor stayed in second on 16 points after defeating Navbahor 2-0, thanks to two early quickfire goals from Server Djeparov (3) and Anvar Soliev (5).
Andijan stayed in touch with a 2-1 win over Traktor. Ildar Yuldashev (14) and Muhtar Fozylov (36) were on target for Andijan while Olim Novkarov (68) reduced the deficit for the losing side.
In other games, Kuruvchi beat Kyzylkum 2-0 and took over the latter’s fourth place, Mashal edged Nasaf 1-0, Shurtan defeated Bukhara 2-0, Samarkand drew with Tupalang 1-1 and Vobkent squeezed past Lokomotiv 1-0.
STANDINGS: 1. Neftchi 18, 2. Pakhtakor 16, 3. Andijan 15, 4. Kuruvchi Tashkent 15, 5. Mashal 13