FC Pakhtakor receive a 2-0 defeat from FC Riga

Uzbekistan’s Super League is still yet to get underway, but, even in the first days of February, there were matches, transfers and stories to be consumed, particularly involving the nation's continental contenders.

Defending league champions FC Pakhtakor endured a trying week, not only officially losing the services of star attacking midfielder Jaloliddin Masharipov – who joined Al Nassr, by way of Shabab Al Ahli – but rounding out a winless pre-season tour of Dubai with defeats to Spartak Moscow and FC Riga.

Beaten 3-0 with an experimental line-up against Zenit a week earlier, Pakhtakor went ahead through Dragan Ceran’s penalty against Spartak before falling to a 2-1 defeat, then suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Latvians FC Riga despite selecting a strong side.

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