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'Azeri galácticos' struggle

Published: Monday 19 September 2005, 14.37CET
Monthly review: Like their Spanish counterparts, Azerbaijani side FK Khazar Lenkoran have suffered a disappointing start to the league season.
by Erkin Ibragimov

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Published: Monday 19 September 2005, 14.37CET

'Azeri galácticos' struggle

Monthly review: Like their Spanish counterparts, Azerbaijani side FK Khazar Lenkoran have suffered a disappointing start to the league season.
Azerbaijan's richest club, FK Khazar Lenkoran, have been dubbed the 'Azeri galácticos'. Like their Real Madrid CF namesakes, they have endured a disappointing start to the season, with four defeats in five matches.

'Azeri galácticos'
Khazar's troubles have provided one of the surprises of the campaign so far, considering their ambitious raft of summer signings. Four Azerbaijani internationals, the Serbo-Montenegrin Milenko Petkovic and Ghanaian Kingsley Atakorah have all failed to make an impact. Under-pressure coach Rasim Kara offered his resignation, and it was eventually accepted by club chief Mubariz Mansimov.

Yaman sacked
FK Karvan Evlakh coach Fuad Yaman was sacked after just one match, however, the 1-0 opening-day loss at FK Baku. Yaman insists the board's decision was unjustified and is claiming compensation. Karvan fell to a second defeat at FC Inter Baku, before stopping the rot with a 1-0 home win against beleaguered Khazar.

Vote of confidence
MTK Araz Imishli's Ukrainian coach Ihor Nakonechniy also received a vote of confidence, following a 5-0 mauling at FK Kapaz. His team responded by coming within a minute of beating Inter only to see Nigerian Lucky Idahor strike late to make it 2-2.

Junivan hat-tricks
The main title contenders, PFC Neftchi and PFK Turan Tovuz, made strong starts, securing three wins from four matches to occupy the top two positions. Turan's Brazilian forward Junivan has been particularly impressive with consecutive hat-tricks against bottom club FK Geyazan Gazakh and FK MOIK.

Last updated: 20/09/05 18.50CET

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