Neftçi PFK have been crowned Azerbaijani champions for the third season in succession after a 1-1 draw at mid-table Qäbälä FK.
With one match remaining in the Premyer Liqasi, the leaders are four points clear of second-placed Qarabağ FK, who defeated Bakı FK 3-1 at home in the penultimate round of fixtures in the 32-game league. Overall, it is the Baku club's eighth title since independence in 1992.
"Everything is great now," said Neftçi coach Boyukagha Hajiyev, whose team took an early lead against Qäbälä through Rashad Sadygov. The goalscorer added: "We knew it was not going to be easy today because we faced a tough side."
With 26 goals of his own, Neftçi's Nicolás Canales is set to top the division's scorers' chart. The Chilean international is eight strikes clear of Olimpik-Şüvälan PFK forward Nildo. "I am beside myself with joy," said the 27-year-old. "There is no better feeling in the world than that of victory. This long and difficult marathon is not over yet, but we are already champions."
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