Osh: Few Asian nations have more at stake in the coming week of domestic football than Kyrgyz Republic, where FC Alay Osh and FC Dordoi will face off twice on separate fronts in four crucial days.
While many of the world’s football leagues are in the middle of summer breaks, the stakes could not be higher for the dominant duo who have shared the last eight league titles in the Central Asian nation.
Alay will host Dordoi in a top-of-the-table league clash on Wednesday night, before the two sides do it all again to decide the winners of the Kyrgyz Super Cup, also in Osh, on Sunday.
Despite winning a domestic double in 2018 and boasting a raft of Kyrgyz Republic national team stars, as well as Akshumkar head coach Alexander Krestinin, Dordoi come into Wednesday’s league clash eight points behind Alay, albeit with a game in hand,
Wednesday’s fixture provides a chance to reduce the deficit but a defeat in the nation’s second city will give an Alay side, which has seldom slipped up in recent times, an 11-point head start going into the second half of the season.
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The last clash between the sides was nothing short of epic, with Ghanaian striker Kelvin Inkum’s late strike sealing a memorable 4-3 away win for Alay, who had previously thrown away their lead after netting three times in the opening 35 minutes.
That result put Dordoi on the back foot in the title race, but recent improvement – which has produced nine goals in their past two matches – is a cause for optimism according to recent national team call-up Alex Mischenko.
“We are training very hard and the team is in a very good mood,” he said. “We are working hard on the pitch and training a lot and you can see the results.
“Playing against Alay is very important because they are in first place. It’s not an easy game against them, and that’s why we are preparing very well.”
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Фото отчет с пред игровой тренировки в Оше
While Wednesday’s clash could go a long way towards deciding the league champions, Sunday’s Super Cup fixture is certain to send silverware to either Osh or Bishkek.
The Super Cup is normally played in pre-season, but this year’s midsummer staging adds another dimension to the contest, which will feature two teams in the full swing of competitive football, with both sides competing on multiple fronts over a hectic past few weeks.
In addition to domestic action, Dordoi earned impressive results against Tajik sides FC Istiklol and FC Khujand before being eliminated from the 2019 AFC Cup, while both sides have been kept busy by Kyrgyzstan Cup action, with Dordoi into the semi-finals and Alay recently eliminated in the last eight.
Alay have beaten Dordoi in the past two editions of the Super Cup, winning 4-1 in 2017 before prevailing in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw last season
Another win on Sunday would make Bakytbek Mamatov’s side only the second in history to win the trophy three times in a row, with Dordoi, perhaps unsurprisingly, the other club to have achieved the feat.
The week ahead
FC Alay Osh v FC Dordoi – Kyrgyz Premier League
Wednesday, 18.15 (local time)
FC Alay Osh v FC Dordoi – Kyrgyz Super Cup
Sunday, 16:30 (local time)