1971-1980 | Neftchi

“Neftchi” Professional Football Club


  • 1971

    Even upon finishing of last season chief coach Ahmad Alasgarov, Coach Valentin Khlistov and head of team Rauf Adigozalov were dismissed from positions. Alakbar Mammadov was appointed as chief coach and Kamal Akhundov, who was a physician of our team in 50-es and later led the Football Federation, was appointed as head. And Tuayev, who led the «Spartak» of Orjenikidze returned to team as footballer. In place Markarov had left the team. Banishevski also got the previous form and together with Shevchenko organized the forward line of «Neftchi», as well as were involved in combined USSR team. The preparation process passed in normal way and footballers were fully ready to season. Even within training-exercise gatherings out team had played many check games in Baku, Kislovodsk, Dashkand, and Ashgabat and had no defeat in them. Together with Banishevski and Shevchenko, the main burden of the team had to carry Tuayev, Hajiyev, Semiglazov and Smolnikov in half-backs and Brukhti, Y.Babayev, Guliyev and Lyogki in defense. And official games started with competition for country cup. Passing the «Lokomotiv» (Moscow) barrier at 1/16 final (1:0; 0:0) «Neftchi» caused a resonance in 1/8 final throughout the Union. In the first game played in Tbilisi with «Dinamo» of Moscow, the winner of silver medal of the last championship and holder of the Cup the goals of Smolnikov and Shevchenko though provided the victory (2:0), but Russians were unaware of the days to be faced in Baku. At reciprocal game «Dynamo» lead by K.Beskov and L.Yashin was crushed and adding one goal by Smolnikov to Banishevski’s hat-trick, which resulted in win with score of 4:0, confused everybody. The successful games at start of the championship were continued, too. After draw in Baku with Kiev’s «Dynamo» the large score victory over «Karpaty», draws in Moscow with «Torpedo» and Central Army Sport Club followed. One of its reasons was connected with losses in team. As there was shortage of half-back in game with «Torpedo» 3 full-backs had to play in the midst. However, victories in Baku over «Spartak» (Moscow), «Dynamo» (Minsk) and «Pakhtakor» led our team among the favorites of championship. Particularly the victory over «Spartak» likely was not pleased by those in Moscow. Like in previous games «Neftchi» showing attack football crushed Muscovites with 5:3 score. After such games with plenty of goals on results of 9 tours from «Neftchi» Shevchenko, Banishevski and Tuayev were among strikers with 5 goals each. Forwards from Baku were already in need of combined USSR team. Banishevski together with Shevchenko played in selection phase of European championship in combined team. Banishevski scored a goal in gate of Cypriotes and Shevchenko in gate of Spanish.

    At first lap all were passed as Bakuvians wanted. «Neftchi» lagged with 5 points after Kiev’s «Dynamo» and occupied 4th place. And for the scored goals our team took the lead over all. Despite R.Mirzayev was traumatized and was out of game for a long period, and Shevchenko, Smolnikov, Kramarenko and Y.Babayev had to miss some games due to injuries. M.Zeynalov, who just returned from surgery operation, was still far from his permanent form. At semi-final game for country cup with «Spartak» having lost with 5:0 score «Neftchi» despite played weakly in the second lap of championship, occupied 9th place.

  • 1972

    «Neftchi» started the season with loss. The biggest loss was leaving of Vitali Shevchenko, who was listed among "33 best” for results of the season as best left wing, to Kiev’s «Dynamo». And Kazbek Tuayev and Yashar Babayev decided to accomplish the career. Moreover, Kramarenko was also unable to help a team. In their place H.Mirikov from «Spartak» (Orjenikidze) and E.Kadoyev from Kirovabad were invited to Baku. Besides past year leaders in main staff of team young R.Alizade, R.Mirzayev, T.Abbasov had to make a debut.

    The team joined the season from cup competitions. In Baku the 1stgroup representative «Metallurg» was defeated with minimum score. And in reciprocal game in Zaporozhye Bakuvians met with heavy defeat (0:3) and had to cease the cup competitions.

    Our team having the first game of the championship on Baku although won «Dynamo» (Minsk) and «Torpedo» (Moscow) with score of 1:0, but they were only deceptive imaginations. Because successive 3 defeats in Leningrad, Moscow and Tbilisi made out team absolutely despondent. The situation grew to worst from tour to tour, and footballers could not restore their self-confidence. Even a victory with score of 3:1 over leader of the championship «Zarya» did not change anything and the series of failure took place. The period of degradation in history of each team began namely in 1972 for «Neftchi». After our footballers lost to Kiev’s «Dinamo» with score 1:4 in Baku, to «Karpaty» with score of 0:2 in Lvov, to «Dnepr» with score of 0:5 in Dnepropetrovsk Football Federation of Azerbaijan dismissed chief coach Alakbar Mammadov. Rauf Adigozalov was appointed for next time as head, Gennadi Zharkov as chief coach, Anatoli Gryazev as his assistant. However, «Neftchi» played very weak in the 2nd lap, too and could not pass to 1stgroup. Zharkov also could not help a team and after few months of activity he went abroad with «Neftchi» and did not return any more.

  • 1973

    Having played for a long time in the Group of Strongest now «Neftchi» had to try to get there. Among favorites of the forecast in the early of season, first of all, the name of our team was referred. All thought that Bakuvians could cope with a task from 1st attempt with dignity.

    The team began the preparation for season under command of new chief coach Valentin Khlystov. A.Gryazev from past season and old footballer A.Trofimov were appointed as assistants to him. Though V.Brukhti, V.Shekhov, A.Semiglazov, R.Abdullayev left the team, but to keep the main part of the team was possible. Nobody from main footballers did left the team. At early of season Fizuli Javadov was invited from Rostov Military Sport Team, in July Asaf Namazov from Sumgayit to «Neftchi». Big hopes were pinned on the experienced players of the team A.Banishevski, Y. Stekolnikov and N.Smolnikov.

    Year 1973 was remembered with novelty applied by the USSR Football Federation both in Strongest Group and in 1st Group. Thus to prevent the pre-agreed games draws were "abolished”. Upon ending of the main time the post game penalties are to be performed and the team that win with penalties should to get one point. And the losing team on penalties was not given any point. At that time this novelty resulted in big rumors, so many teams lost points unjustified, the nerves were frayed in many games. Even «Neftchi» won in game with «Kuzbass» with score of 11-10 at post game penalties.

    From first tours Bakuvians could not demonstrate that they came from Strongests. After 5 tours «Neftchi» gaining only 5 points outdistanced from leaders. However, coming 4 games were played with confidence and it could approach them. «Neftchi» was behind of only «Metallurg» (Lipetsk) and «Nistru» (Kishinyov) just with one point. Even at 5th tour if they would hadn’t lose unexpectedly to Lipetsk team in Baku, our footballers could get the leadership. At 12th tour the defeat in visit from main rivals «Nistru» was not in place. At 7 games of 8th tour till the end of 1stlap (at 1st tour «Neftchi» had a rest)our team won 5 games, and had humbled with one draw and 1 defeat. And in 5 matches our footballers scored 17 goals and went to break in 2ndrow. Bakuvians with 24 points in balance lagged from leader «Nistru» with 4 points, and was ahead of «Metallurg» with goals difference. But «Chernomorets» and «Locomotive» (Moscow), which followed them, both were challengers for license. In one word, at 2ndlap the tense competition was expected.

    In inter-lap breaks the involving of Asaf Namazov served the strengthening of defense. Though «Neftchi» started the 2nd lap with two victories in 3 games, but replacing of only defeat and draw till 27th tour reduced the chances even more. Although the team was at upper rows of fixture list, but difference of points with leaders was big. To eliminate this difference only to get a victory in personal matches with basic rivals was important. The schedule was so that starting from 35th tour «Neftchi» used to meet successively with leaders. Although basic time in Lipetsk ended with draw thanks to goal of Banishevski, at post game penalties Bakuvians were more correct and gained one score. Although it was expected that this result will have a positive impact on footballers, but in Moscow «Locomotive» won with a goal scored 4 minutes prior to finish. Although in following games in Baku despite home team opened a score in games with «Chernomorets» and «Nistru» but in both games they allowed 3 goals and lost the games. As these two team had already managed the issue to get in elite group, the licenses for our team was beyond the reach our footballers lost the heart and lost to «Pamir» and «Alga», so had to be satisfied with 4th place.

    The team could not achieve something in country cup and had to cease competition at 1/8 final. At first stage Bakuvians finished both games with «Karpaty» in equal (1:1, 0:0), but only in visiting games the goal scored enabled the team to pass to next stage. But at 1/8 final the defeat to «Ararat» in both games (0:1, 1:3) debarred the team from competitions.

  • 1974

    The team that could not pass to Group of Strongest after two attempts were making its high preparations to new football season. No significant changes took place in structure of coaches. But due to some reasons a group of footballers left the team. They were V.Lyogki, R.Mirzayev, Y.Stekolnikov, N.Eynullayev, N.Leksin, A.Banishevski, R.Alizade, N.Andreyev and R.Kamalatdinov. Relying mainly on local staff V.Khlystov had invited to «Neftchi» Arif Orujov, Abdulgani Nurmammadov, Samadagha Shikhlarov, Adil Huseynov and Rovshan Gojayev from republican teams. The team having its first training-exercise gatherings in Baku mainly focused on physical training. But at 2nd stage held in Sochi the team tested the tactical moves.

    Finally, the start of 1st group gave some hope to fans. «Neftchi» could get the leadership after 5 tours, and with 7 tours it did not felt the bitterness of defeat. Only at 8th tour out team lost to home team in Kuybyshev with only goal. However, Bakuvians did not let the leadership. Even in the mid of 1st lap after some instable games and lost few points there were no doubt that one of two licenses will be of Baku. All 17 tours our footballers did not let the leadership. Henceforth the tiredness showed itself close to end of 1st lap and «Neftchi» went down to 3rd place. Out team with 24 points was beyond «Krılya Sovetov» and Military Sport Club (Rostov) with one extra point. Another 3 teams also had 23 points. As in past year, the 1st lap did not clarify something and some hesitation was among those who thought that «Neftchi» would be ahead with difference of points. But football commentator N.Morozov wrote while commenting the 1st lap («From «Progress» to «Neftchi»): «I like present «Neftchi». But I would not say that the team plays demonstratively. So fat it succeeds thanks to energy, purposeful struggle and the desire of victory».

    It seems that this energy of «Neftchi» exhausted close to mid of 2ndlap. Because the team almost played with same staff. As there were no worthy youths to replace the key players they had no opportunity to rest. At 2nd tour of second lap «Neftchi» had captured a leadership anew. At result of successful series the tiredness in our team, which struggled with eager for leadership had its negative impact on mood of the team. The footballers having lost its sense for 8 tours during this period could only gain 9 points and went down to 5thplace. Using this opportunity «Locomotive» (Moscow) and Military Sport Club (Rostov) shoot ahead. And finally namely these teams got the license for Group of Strongest.

    The past year result was repeated at cup tournament. Having easily defeating «Pakhtakor» at first stage (3:0, 1:2) «Neftchi» again list to our undesired neighbors at next stage (0:2, 1:1) stopped the competition.

  • 1975

    Having not achieved its goal for over two years «Neftchi» did not make any serious changes in team staff. There was no change in staff of coaches. Only the absence of Rafig Alizade, who left for «Chernomorets», was considered as loss. Instead of him Elbrus Abbasov from Kirovabad, Shakir Garibov from «Progress» and Roman Jafarov from BTİİK were involved in team. Abbasov together with Fizuli Javadov had to form the main attack force of the team. In mid line Ali Rahmanov with Nikolay Smolnikov, in rear line Rashid Ozbeyov with Asaf Namazov had to carry the main burden of the game. At the stage of preparation chief coach Valentin Khlistov namely worked on these systems of play. The victory with score of 3:0 over «Chernomorets» in unofficial game held in Baku said about the correctness of this tactics.

    Really, at beginning of the championship everything did not go on plan. Having gathered only 8 points at first 7 games Bakuvians soon could «find its game» and 11 points at 7 games. After 10 tours «Dynamo» (Minsk), «Tavriya» and «Kayrat» were leaders with 14 points. But «Neftchi» lagged from them with one point. At 11th tour Bakuvians visiting Simferopol could win resolutely with goals of F.Javadov and E.Abbasov in 2nd part. Losing of points by Alma-Ata team in Kishinev and Minsk team in Kazan allowed our team to share the leadership with «Dynamo». But this chance was lost unexpectedly in match with outsider «Metallist». «Sovetski Sport» newspaper wrote about it: «Nowadays footballers of «Neftchi» in visit to Simferopol had a resolute victory over leader «Tavriya» but few days later lost to one of outsiders in Kharkov local «Metallist». In game with «Tavriya» Bakuvians struggled with inspiration and courage and could demonstrate what they can. In game with «Metallist» they were as if replaced. If to take into account that this season the staff of team was not significantly changed and players had mutual understandings, then such instability may be explained only with defects of resolute psychological training».

    The commentator was right. The instability in the game was at such level that «Neftchi» being the only leader after 14 tours at the results of 16 tours it went down to 9th place. Among the successive defeats to lose in Minsk with the score 1:5 was most disappointing. Truly speaking, at second lap our team had responded to this defeat in the same manner. At result of play of Ali Rahmanov in hal backs, Nikolay Smolnikov little ahead and Fizuli Javadov in forward the defense line of leader could not withstand the pressure. But neither this no victories over «Tavriya» and «Metallist» with score of 4:0 did help our team to achieve the target set. Till that day Bakuvians lost in one of 6 games and had 5 draws. The lost 7 points caused a difference of 5 points with leader. «Krilya Sovetov» and «Dynamo», which strengthened positions at first two places did not give their positions till the end and got two licenses. A.Norakidze then wrote about performance of «Neftchi»: «Baku team made on me an expression of old type team: short passes, delayed movement forward, insufficient links between midline and forwards». Instability in play of team, incorrect distribution of physical force throughout the season finally did not allow «Neftchi» to achieve main target.

    In the cup games which started before the championship games the team could not gain any significant success. At 1/32 final having defeated in Baku Kutaisi’s «Torpedo» with minimum score had to meet with «Karpaty» at next stage. But having allowed 4 non-responded goals in own gate in Lvov our team debarred from further competition.

  • 1976

    The leadership continued to express his resolution to achieve a target set this time and that it made a lessons from previous errors made in four year in first group. All conditions were almost created for team. Chief coach Valentin Khlistov had intensive trainings. Under his leadership the staff was almost furnished within three years. Links among lines were normalized. Chief Coach only worked on right distribution of physical force of the team throughout the championship. R.Guliyev and R.Alizade returned to team. Moreover from local teams A.Miroshnikov, G.Ahmadov, A.Khudiyev, V.Ogerchuk, A.Korman were invited in team. The team having its first gathering in Baku then travelled Tbilisi. Having participated in mini-football tournament of weekly «Nedelya» newspaper «Neftchi» met with «Dynamo» Tb (2:1), «Torpedo» Kt (1:1) and «Ararat» (1:4). But at the next stage of the preparation the team participated in "Spring” tournament held in Eshera. Here Bakuvians although lost to «Pakhtakor», later defeated «Rubin» (2:0) and «Kuzbass» (3:2). But leadership did not believe to Khlystov, who was in one step from three successive years’ target had dismissed him from position of chief coach a little before the start of championship. But appointment of Gennadi Bondarenko, who played in Leningrad and Moscow teams, as chief coach gave a great hope to fans. Bondarenko led the Riga’s «Daugava» prior to coming Baku. He also wanted to see «Neftchi» in elite group next year. Despite irreplaceable goalkeeper of long years S.Kramarenko went to A.Alasgarov - to «Chernomorets», the worthy replacement of him was found. Let’s say that Yuri Romenski from Mingachevir could not allow feeling absence of Kramarenko. And moreover the team was formed from same footballers for few consecutive years. One point that caused hope in fans was return of great Banishevski to football and «Neftchi». Despite he was invited as playing coach his presence in square gave strength to team.

    As usual having successful start at season and later facing difficulties, the events occurred in «Neftchi» in another way. Losing unexpectedly points in start Bakuvians even further complicated the situation. After 7 tours our team only could gain 9 points and occupied fifth place. However the demonstrated play caused a good impression in some experts, but some others forecasted that the team as in previous years will demonstrate weak performance in visiting matches and lose points. But the year 1976 was remembered as a season with best plays in history of «Neftchi» in visiting matches. Victories over «Shinnik» (3:0) in Yaroslavl and «Rubin» (2:1) in Kazan» were signals of wrong forecasts of second group experts. Particularly the second game passed difficulty and showed how Bakuvians were resolute. Home teams despite opening a score did not give superiority. This situation changed with coming of Banishevski at square. The veteran forward score two beautiful goals brought victory to «Neftchi» and leadership together with «Kayrat». Already in the mid of season everybody considered Baku representative as favorite of the tournament. Chairman of Azerbaijan Football Federation, previous physician of the team and head Kamal Akhundov in his comments on results of season said: «Already since August- September the press began to given high appraisal to «Neftchi»’s potential and perspectives. The all-union referee I.Samusenkov in early September wrote in «Sosialisticheskaya industriya» newspaper: «While assessing the situation formed in first group in country championship I without allowing the risk can say in advance that: Baku’s «Neftchi» team will gain a right to play next year in Group of Strongest. What my this believe is based on? First, on figures. Bakivians having gained the leadership even in mid of May did not give it up till date. Their best rivals are beyond for four-five points. Second, it is the main issue, I mean the quality of the team». Majority of experts praise demonstration of high will and mastership in squares of rival teams, highly appreciated the technique of footballers, choosing of attack style».

    The end of the season was not passed easily. «Neftchi» visiting the Central Asia was defeated in Alma-Ata and Dashkand with same score (0:1) allowed «Kayrat» to eliminate the difference. Although both leaders had 43 points, our team won «Kuzbass» in Kemerovo and «Terek» in Baku, so could correct the situation. «Pakhtakor» was beyond the leaders for 3 points and it was no doubt that Alma Ata and Baku team will reach finish first. But at the end of season the tiredness of footballers enabled «Kayrat» to get a lead. However, they established at second place and could spent year 1977 together with strongest teams. In general, for goals scored and for difference of goals out team was ahead of all. «Neftchi» could also gain more points in visit- 20 points. And from Baku nobody could return with victory. Our forward Elbrus Abbasov, who had high performance in season, was best striker of the first group with 28 goals. His playing together with master like Banishevski had its contribution in that.

    The success of team was not out of attention of the republican leadership. Heydar Aliyev, who was a head of Azerbaijan, met with «Neftchi». The information of «Azerinform» agency about this meeting said: «Comrade Aliyev while analyzing the success of «Neftchi» team had noted the big role of team leaders, its coaches, who prepared a collective well for a season, could consolidate them, in general, directed the efforts of all team and individually every footballer to required direction. Not only sport activities, but education was also well organized in the team, the healthy conditions were created. Each footballer and in general whole team took that fame of Azerbaijani sport, collective above all. And it is one of the key reasons of the victory gained».

    Having the main purpose to get in Group of Strongest the team did not focus on Cup matches. Despite «Neftchi» met with serious resistance of Ashkhabad’s «Kolkhozchu» team in Baku at Cup tournament even before start of championship, it could not pass the barrier– 2:1. At next stage it lost in additional time in visit match in Donetsk with «Shakhtyor»(0:1), and so had to bid farewell to competition.

  • 1977

    After a four-year interval, returning premier league was putting "Neftchi” an obligation for being strengthened here. Head coach Bondarenko couldn’t rely on only to this among strong players as he stated about recent season: "All players obey discipline, indulge exemplarily and fight in games right to the end. Certainly, "Neftchi” players’ training and proficiency level are far from required level. But in such cases, the will give help”. Sergey Kramarenko returned the team in order to form a competition-stable staff, Samadagha Shikhlarov with Asim Khudiyev and Isgandar Javadov were involved from the young playing in "Automobilist” and hopeful Igor Ponomaryov and Vladimir Mikhaylevski from "Spartak” Baku. Bondarenko didn’t conceal acknowledging the difficulty of aimed obligation in his interview to press: "Four years passed in first league made "Neftchi” change a lot. Players other than Kramarenko, Banishevski and Smolnikov, heard about the strong player team only from external sources. Of course, there is a big difference between the first league and strong player team. In the first league, we could play in the speed we got used. If someone is lame in his leg a bit, we solved it with our technical play. But requirements of strong player team are different, here a player is always in time trouble. Elbrus Abbasov, who was a goal-scorer of previous first team, is not able to keep up with the tempo here. He cannot keep up and is off his enthusiasm. I have no fear about tactic, physical and technical trainings of the footballers, the only thing that avoids me is speed. The problem is not about a common speed. I mean thinking speed: thinking speed and closely connected with it, obtain the ball, make simultaneous maneuvers – pass fast and in time and make the pass at the end”.

    At the beginning of the championship, worthy play and gained draws with Moscow "Dinamo” and OMIK bestowed fans with hope. Though the basic pressure was on experienced players, strict injury of Banishevski who means a half of the team, caused the coach to be in a difficult circumstance. However, Bondarenko – who gained result with open football game in the first group- intended to adhere his tactics. And losing game against visitor team "Dinamo” (Tbilisi) with 1:4 and "Dnepr” with 0:3, didn’t cause him change his mind by performing attack football game. Adhering the philosophy of "An attack football game wouldn’t end with satisfactory result. Gathering of players before the door can cause to extend goal minute that will be scored” the coach did not give up his obstinacy. However, problems arising in the staff didn’t give an opportunity to establish an optimal stuff. Abbasov, a goal-scorer of previous season, really could not justify hopes. Even the young did not run away the anxiety of premier league. This is not for a reason that the team goal-scorer become experienced Smolnikov with 9 goals. And the head coach discussed difficulties about the staff in the press: "I have to admit that the issue completing the stuff is a big problem being before us. Different questions began arising as soon as we gained a place in strong player group: "How to strengthen the team? To prefer to external-invited players or to rely on players who raised the team to the level of strong players in difficult struggle? The answer was clear to me: "Neftchi” preferred to both ways. But the team played stronger when it is organized with local footballers”.

    "Neftchi” that passed more than half of the season around first ten, suddenly approached "risky zone”. Defeat in Alma-Ata and 3 simultaneous draws played role in this situation. Moreover, victory on "Zarya” in Baku and draw situation with visiting "Karpat” fixed the state; loss in Kiev delayed everything for the last lap. Draw with direct competitor "Dnepr” ensured to hold next season with strong players.

    The team that thought only about protecting their place attached no any significant importance to cup competitions. At the result, visitor "Neftchi” lost the game with the score of 0:5 right in the first game with "Dinamo” Minsk who struggled in the first group.

  • 1978

    As "Neftchi” was in hope for many things in new season, but it seemed that same problems still remained. Changes in the staff were transfer of goalkeeper Yuri Romenski to "Chernomorets” and attracting new young players. 1978th year was important for USSR and "Neftchi” history with several events. A limitation was applied for the first time in order to prevent games negotiated in the championship: each team gained a score for the first 8 draws. And no score was given for next draws. As USSR Football Federation decided to increase team numbers in the Strong players group, only one participant would be placed in the first group as well.

    "Neftchi” was a participant of tournament held for "Nedelya” week’s prize in Leningrad within the bounds of new season preparation. After losing the game against "Dinamo” Kyiv with the score of 0:2, Baku inhabitants ("Bakililar”) gained victory over "Shakhtyor” Donetsk with the score of 3:1. And they played a draw with "Dinamo” Leningrad in the last game of group tournament (1:1). It caused our team to struggle for 3rd place. "Neftchi” gained the third place in the tournament by gaining "Zenith” Leningrad with its penalty kicks. Afterwards, the team was sent to Eshera for training-instructional gathering under the guidance of head coach G. Bondarenko. He attached special importance to this part of the training and test games.

    In addition, the first official games of the season were held in USSR cup. In 1/16 final, games of Neftchi that gained a victory over "Shinnik” (Yaroslavl) with minimal score in both matches, with OIK Odessa were quite inconstant. Baku inhabitants gained a victory with a confident score such as 4:0 in Baku, would almost caused a sensation. Odessa inhabitants scored 3 unanswered goals to our oor in return match that goal-keeper Miroshnikov’s inexperience showed itself. Result with "Shakhtyor” in visit in 1/4 (0:0) justified hopes close to semi-final. But the goal missed due to gross mistake of goal-keeper buried the hopes. And Donetsk inhabitants differed two times towards the end of the game.

    Such inconstancy brought "Neftchi” to bay in the start of the championship. However, the team gained its first victory over "Kairat” in 5th lap, head coach wasn’t dissatisfied from games: "We came to such a result that the players are ready for games from physical and tactical point of view. But shortcomings come through attack, especially, using goal circumstances. We are getting ready well for the games in Baku, but we have problems related to sport stadium when we go to travels. For example, "Lokomotiv” refused providing us with stadium by disordering regulations”. It is not first unfairness that "Neftchi” faces with. Partiality of judges in matches either with "Lokomotiv” or "Zenith” or Kairat” exerted its influence. By other side, obligatory changes often happened in the staff in the first turn. Kramarenko, Miroshnikov, Ozbayov, Namazov, Gurbanov, Alizada and other leading players damaged for different periods being hurt frequently. Coaches had to replace them with young players. Asim Khudiyev with Shakir Garibov and Samadagha Shikhlarov gained a place in the main staff making a confident performance in defend and in first row respectively. Such stability in the staff was going to pass to games gradually. The team had put right its status in the leaderboard comparatively by playing a draw (1:1) with champion "Dinamo” (Kyiv) as a visiting party and gaining a victory over "Spartak” with the score of 3:1 in Baku. Before five laps to the end, the victory over "Dnepr” in Baku meant assurance of place in Strong player group. This game was retained in memories so far as A. Banishevski entered "Grigori Fedotov” club scoring his 100th goal. And Isgandar Javadov founded a basic of goals that would help "Neftchi” a lot just in this match. It should be noted that disciplinary had already been put right in the team. This is for a reason that the team hadn’t been issued even a yellow card for the first 19 laps. But Bakhtiyar Gulamov was the first punished player of our team in 20th lap .

    And "Neftchi” using short interval in championship close to the end of the season went to Iran in order to have friendly matches there. Our team who gained a victory over 6 games here had last match with local team in Sapamdarj. Victory with 3:2 score was retained in memories that Asaf Namazov replaced Sergey Kramenko who felt bad in the second part, as there was not second goalkeeper. The season was also a farewell year to "green stadium” for Banishevski. He went to Moscow in order to return Baku as a coach….

  • 1979

    After three-year activity, G. Bondarenko left the team upon his own request. The management was persistent to bring coach abroad as well. On the eve of new season, G. Bondarenko was replaced by Igor Netto who was previous captain of USSR national team and "Spartak” team, was a champion for 5 times with capital club and was coach and head coach of teams of "Omonia” (Cyprus), "Shinnik” (Yaroslavl), "Spartak”, "Panionios” (Greece), as well as, of Iran national team.

    The season commenced with struggle for the cup as well. For the first time, teams of Strong player group joint to competition from group phase in cup tournament that group’s first players gained claiming for 1/4 final among 6 teams. "Neftchi” struggled against "Spartak” (Moscow), OIK (Odessa), "Zvezda”, "Terek” and "Mashuk” in 5thgroup that the games held in Sochi. Our team that gained a victory in 4 games, but was defeated by Muscovites, could gain only second place.

    The team celebrated its first goal and first victory in the championship in the fourth lap game in Kuibyshev. It was the first visiting victory that "Neftchi” gained for recent three years. But the situation was getting bad as the turn come close to the end, after the first turn, the team was in the last place with the score of 9. Seven goals scored out of 17 games promised nothing better. At the result, I. Netto returned Moscow after the first turn, he was replaced by Ahmad Alasgarov who was head coach of "Araz” Nakhchivan. And "Neftchi” management was changed as well. Rafig Mammadov who was chairman of Republican Sport Committee had become the team manager. New head coach brought footballers from Odessa acting in "Araz” such as Sapozhnikov, Pavlenko, Kachur and even Sokolovski. Naturally, aim set to new head coach was to keep "Neftchi” in the Strong player group. Our visiting team played a draw with "Zenith” in the first second lap of the second turn and went one step up from the last place gaining a victory "at home” over "Kairat”. A game with Alma-Ata inhabitants passed very hard and the guests were close to preserve a draw. But even Ordabayev who is a goalkeeper of the guests performing the game in high level, was helpless before heavy kick stroke by Abdulgani Nurmammadov in 90thminute. And moving off "risky zone” coincided with 25th lap . It was clear in advance that a game with championship leader "Shaktyor” would be hard for our team.

    Our team, performing the game in high level, defeated its strong rival team unexpectedly by answering goal of championship’s goal-scorer Starukhin with goals of O.Abdullayev, A.Namazov and I. Javadov. And "Neftchi” increased to 15th step for the first time in the season. It was true that match with Rostov OIK passed hard in the next game. However, our team scored 2 times, carelessness resulted making score equal of the guests. Even Kramarenko got a red card as he beat rival fullback because of his rudeness in last minutes. Not scoring of OIK who completed draw limitation caused "Neftchi” deviate from its rivals a little more. But basically absence of goalkeeper proved itself in next games: Baku inhabitants was defeated by OMIK and "Dinamo” with the score of 2:7 totally. In these games, excitement and mistakes of Miroshnikov who defended the door inspired on the team as well. Especially defensive line was under hard pressure. In spite of this, return of Kramenko whose term of punishment was terminated, caused the state make better a little. "Neftchi”, gaining necessary results in recent matches, achieved its aim set before it, by completing the season in 14th phase. A. Alasgarov’s practice and coach proficiency played great role in this issue. Just owing to his labour, "Neftchi” kept its place in the Strong player group.

  • 1980

    1980th year that was remembered as a sport year related Olympiads in all USSR territory, commenced successfully for "Neftchi”. Some members of our team who gained second place in the last season substitute players tournament had been involved to the main team. However, "Neftchi” that decided to get rid of season tiredness by visiting to Czechoslovakia, began training in Baku, visiting to Bulgaria came in handy from game experience point of view. Participating in mini-football tournament here the team struggled in two groups being divided in "Neftchi-1” and "Neftchi-2”. In the first group, "Neftchi-1” played a draw (4:4) with "JSK-Spartak-2”, was defeated by "Cherno-More-1” with the score of 1:2 and took second place by gaining a victory over "Beloslav” with the score of 2:1. And "Neftchi-2” being in the second group, lost unimportant game against "Cherno-More-2” with the score of 3:4 after ensuring first place by gaining a victory over "JSK-Spartak-2” with the score of 7:1 and "Devna” 3:1 respectively. Group leaders – "Cherno-More-1” and "Neftchi-2” moved forward final. The hosts won with penalties - 5:4 in the game where main duration ended with a draw (1:1). In addition, "Neftchi-1” gained 3rd place by defeating second team of winners with the score of 5:2. S. Kramarenko titled with the best goalkeeper of the tournament and S. Shikhlarov with the most technical player. A. Alasgarov stated in his interview that Bulgaria visit played necessary role from the standpoint of determining the staff.

    And official games began successful for our team. "Neftchi” gained the first place with 10 scores gaining a victory over all 5 games in group games for USSR Cup held in Baku and gained claiming to 1/8 final. Samadagha Shikhlarov, from "Neftchi” staff who scored 13 goals in these games, was differed specially. Shikhlarov was an author of five such goals. But "Pakhtakor” closed the way of Baku inhabitants going to 1/4 final. The only game of rivals met in Cup competitions for the first time was held in Tashkent. However, Shikhlarov and Javadov were close to score a goal several times, the game wasn’t scored in the main duration. And in additional term (in 102nd minute) Nartajiyev scored a goal. Sokolovski scored a goal of equality after 9 minutes. And advantage was passed to "Neftchi” after this goal. Even Javadov couldn’t "drop” a goal from 2 meters after corner kick. In spite of it, the ball touched to our goalkeeper’s hand in the attack in 120thminute and Armenian Nabaldyan showed a penalty point. Tsereteli’s accurate kick made "Neftchi” remain in 1/8 final.

    Alasgarov was sent to 43rdchampionship related changes made in the staff. Isgandar Javadov was appointed as a new team captain. The coach hadn’t honored experienced players such as Kramarenko and Namazov keep in the main staff any longer: "They will play in the best way. I cherish a lot for Leksin who will cure his injuries. Of course, it is impossible to pass the season in one staff. There are enough talented young players in substitutive staff and I think to use them”. Alasgarov stated that footballers were in good physical form in accordance with results of held test matches as well. But commence of championship was sudden. "Neftchi” was at the end of leaderboard with 4 scores after 9 laps. Thinking such inexplicable performance caused in players, the management dismissed Shikhlarov and Namazov from the team together with Odessa inhabitants who appointed with Alasgarov. At the end, first victory and comparative stable games series began in 10th lap . "Neftchi”, differed from other seasons not so much, could save its place in strong players group at the end.



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