AGMK v. Istiklol (League Game)
AGMK is another of the Uzbekistan clubs that is trying to make the group stage. Although founded in 2004, their legacy dates back to the former Soviet Union’s third tier soccer club. The name comes from the businesses name in Russian (as well as homage to Almalyk, where the club is located. Despite the fact that the club haven’t won any titles, they managed qualification to the AFC Champions League through capturing the Uzbek Cup over FC Bunyodkor.
AGMK has not been great in the domestic league so far. They currently sit in 8th place (of twelve) in the top-tier of Uzbek soccer. In 22 games played they’ve managed only 26 points and own a -2 goal differential. They are averaging just barely over a goal scored per game but they concede nearly 1.3 goals per game. The club has also had an interesting history of unexpected promotions after other teams encountered financial difficulties.
AGMK has no history in continental competition whether in the AFC Cup or the AFC Champions League. They are the only team profiled so far that has no continental history at all. Most teams would love to have a home draw for any competition, but AGMK might be the exception — they’re 9th in home form and 4th in away form. In all fairness though, they have the same point total at home and away, with 13 points in 11 games played. At home, they average 1.1 goals scored per game and 0.9 conceded.
This is the first Tajik club we’ve talked about in this series so far. They formed in 2007, and shortly there after they went 27-0-0 in the Tajik second tier with an insane +147 goal differential. Just in case that alone is not enough, that translates to just under 6.5 goals scored per game and less than 1 goal conceded per game.
Although they haven’t been able to repeat the scenario above, they have managed to accrue seven domestic titles. They won the seventh title in the 2018 season which guaranteed them some AFC Champions League game time. During their title run, they averaged 1.7 goals scored per game with only 0.8 concessions per game.
This is Istiklol’s first foray into the AFC Champions League, despite appearing (and ultimately losing) two AFC Cup Finals.
What to expect
I think that FC Istiklol has to be considered favorites here. AGMK really hadn’t had any sort of form to write about since they won the Uzbek cup last season. A negative goal differential and quite frankly, no form, is not a good combination coming into your first continental action.
Istiklol, on the other hand, just won their seventh title and has been quite impressive. Add that to the fact that they’ve become rather accustomed to playing in continental competition (unfortunately for them, just not actually winning them). While AGMK has nothing to their credit, Istiklol has a book full of accomplishments in a few short years.
Last Updated: February 10, 2019