Babayan looks for continuation of Pakhtakor’s positive start

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coach believes the champions can continue their positive start to the year against Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

On their return to the continental competition on Tuesday after a one year absence, Igor Sergeev scored the winner with five minutes remaining at Pakhtakor Stadium as Babayan’s 10 men recorded a 2-1 win over Iran’s Naft Tehran.

And with the new domestic campaign not beginning until next weekend’s season-opening Super Cup against fellow AFC Champions qualifiers and cup winners Lokomotiv, Pakhtakor’s next outing of 2015 sees Babayan’s side travel to Riyadh to face an Al Shabab side who began their continental campaign with a goalless draw in the United Arab Emirates against Al Ain.

“We are not in good form yet because we haven’t yet started our league season and we will need to play more games to get up to speed,” said Pakhtakor coach Samvel Babayan following the win over Naft as 10-time Uzbekistan champions Pakhtakor began their record 12th appearance in the continental competition with a win having failed to qualify for the first time last year.

“I hope we can play better in the next matches.”