Pakhtakor didn’t play on Monday night, but they were undoubtedly one of the evening’s big winners, as AGMK – their main challengers for most of the season – slumped to a second successive defeat.
Just 10 days after Mirjalol Kasimov’s AGMK side temporarily crept ahead of the 2019 champions on the table, they now find themselves eight points removed from Pakhtakor who also hold two games in hand, following AGMK’s 1-0 defeat to Kokand-1912 on Monday.
Making matters worse for AGMK was Nasaf’s 2-0 win over Metallurg on Monday evening, helping the Qarshi side rise to second in the standings, one point ahead of AGMK, on the strength of a 10-match unbeaten run.
While Nasaf hone in one a possible return to the AFC Champions League, it would now take a minor miracle for anyone to deny Pakhtakor a second successive title.
Having won 16 of 19 league matches throughout the campaign, and putting six goals past Surkon last time out, the Tashkent club require, at worst, just nine points from their remaining seven fixtures to put themselves out of reach, and into the winners' circle for a second successive season.
Shota Arveladze’s men are widely expected to take another step towards that objective on Wednesday, when they face a struggling Mashal Muborak side who have lost their last six matches.