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Neftchi are Azerbaijani champions

Mon 02 May 2011 05:55 GMT | 10:55 Local Time
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Neftchi won 3-1 away to AZAL on Sunday to clinch Azerbaijan's Unibank Premier League title with three games left to play.

The Oilmen opened up an unassailable 10-point lead over second-placed Khazar Lenkoran, who could only draw away to Inter.

“I am very glad that we are champions," Neftchi coach Arif Asadov said after the game. "The fans have been looking forward it. We dedicate our victory to the club’s president, Sadikh Sadikhov. It's a shame that injury forced us to make three substitutions. I think we'll give youth a chance in the next matches."

The match was pretty much settled early in the first half at AZAL's new stadium in Shuvelan. Javid Huseynov opened the scoring for Neftchi in the 15th minute and two minutes later AZAL's Ritus Krjaukis scored an own goal.

A late flurry saw Neftchi's Brazilian midfielder Rodriguinho net their third in the 90th minute, while Gvidas Juska scored a consolation goal for AZAL in added time.

AZAL's Macedonian defender Robert Petrov was sent off in the 86th minute.

"I am very glad to have won the championship in my first season at Neftchi," Belgian international Emile Mpenza said. "It's a special feeling. We deserved the championship."

Neftchi will now represent Azerbaijan in the Champions’ League qualifying rounds this summer.

Second-placed Khazar Lenkoran drew 1-1 away to Inter on Saturday. Asif Mammadov scored for the Baku team in the 29th minute, while Hristu Chiacu equalized for Lenkoran in the 60th minute.

FC Karabakh (Qarabag) lost the chance to move second when they drew 2-2 at home to Baki. Karabakh's Zaur Hashimov scored an own goal in the 22nd minute, while Vagif Javadov doubled the score for Baki three minutes later. Karabakh settled down after the interval, with Giorgi Adamia scoring in the 60th minute and Admir Teli with one minute of full time left to play.

Karabakh are in third place, one point behind Khazar-Lenkoran.

In the lower half of the table, which split into two after the first stage of the season, Tony Adams' Gabala drew 0-0 away to Simurg to remain in top spot. Ganja beat bottom-of-the-table MOIK 1-0, while Mugan won by the same scoreline away to Turan.

Baku club Ravan secured the second promotion spot in the Azerbaijani Championship at the weekend, beating basement club Mingachevir Energetic 3-0. Top-of-the-table Asheron gained promotion three weeks ago.

Unibank Premier League

 

Team

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals

Points

1

Neftchi

29

19

8

2

52-13

65

2

Khazar-Lenkoran

29

15

10

4

34-16

55

3

Karabakh

29

16

6

7

36-18

54

4

AZAL

29

12

9

8

32-25

45

5

Inter

29

12

8

9

28-24

44

6

Baki

29

9

10

10

31-28

37

Bottom Six

7

Gabala

29

11

11

7

28-17

44

8

Mugan

29

11

8

10

25-28

41

9

Ganja

29

8

11

10

29-31

35

10

Turan

29

6

6

17

21-41

24

11

Simurg

29

3

7

19

15-46

16

12

MOIK

29

2

6

21

9-53

12

 

Elmir Aliyev
News.Az

 

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