1991-2000 | Neftchi

“Neftchi” Professional Football Club

1991-2000

  • 1991

    Recent years problems surrounded the Republic really did not decrease. "Neftchi’s” budget reduced rather much; Republic’s main team was in middling even in the first league due to financial status. However, there was a big hope for Baku inhabitants cope with its duty returning Strong players group. Main preference of Ruslan Abdullayev who led the team consecutively three seasons was his ability keeping the team core. Young players such as Emin Aghayev, Igor Getman, Tarlan Ahmadov were in the "threshold” of main staff together with experienced players. In the training process, problems arising in recent years proved itself once more, and it was obvious that it wouldn’t be easy to "Neftchi” in the beginning of the championship. Hence, match with "Kotayk” Abovyan didn’t take part in the first turn. Our team underwent a technical defeat as the team didn’t go for a visiting game. But it wouldn’t cause our footballers lose their courage and right after it they returned with a victory from Stavropol (from the game with "Dinamo”) for the first time in the championship history – 1:0. Next games proved that instability coming from along years shortcoming weren’t corrected. Baku inhabitants played a draw with Zimbrul” "at home” (0:0) and gained a victory over "Bukovina” – 3:1. A tragic Kamishin visit was waiting for "Neftchi” after a draw with no goal with "Fakel” in visit. Ruslan Abdullayev left his position after failure with 0:4 score. Kazbek Tuayev who was brought from Tunis to the motherland, was commissioned to level up Strong player group by substituting him. But the team was defeated by "Novbahor” and "Neftchi” (Fargana) just in the debut. Baku inhabitants, who settled down in leadership group after 4 turns, were in 20th place after 9 turns. At that time, the event came across formerly had happened – Tuayev who had only four games went into retirement. It could almost be stated that a scandalous situation arose in "Neftchi” and everybody understood impossibility of performing forwarded duty. And giving interview to "Idman” newspaper dated on May 24, 1991, Aydin Ibrahimov the President of the club admitted it as following: "Tuayev decided to leave after three failures. We didn’t act contrary to him. Coach Council will lead the team temporarily. Now it would not be possible to achieve the purpose leveling up Strong player group. Therefore, thinking about future, we intend to bring much better specialist”.

    Head coach searches lasted just two turns, in this time, Coach Council led the team. On the eve of game with "Uralmash”, Ahmad Alasgarov became a head coach of "Neftchi” and gained a victory in the first match – 1:0. A. Alasgarov stated that footballers’ functional, physical, psychological trainings were in low level, in a word, "the team wasn’t ready for responsible games”. Nevertheless, he believed that the team kept the chance claiming for victory concerning to that elite. But turns were passed and "Neftchi” couldn’t keep itself from outsiders. After the first lap, having 8 points difference with the leader, the team was in 13th place with 4 draws and 9 defeats.

    Goalkeeper Elkhan Hasanov and Arzu Mirzayev made their way to help "Kapaz” during the season. And Faig Jabbarov from Ganja visited Baku. And in the second lap Alasgarov wasn’t able to do fundamental changes. On the eve, footballers involved to the team, didn’t justify hopes. In the middles of lap, being injured strictly Vladislav Gadirov was out of the team for a long time. At the result, "Neftchi” ended the season in 15th place.

  • 1992

    Ending last USSR championship in 1stlap with pessimistic tones "Neftchi” was preparing for new season diligently. Head coach Ahmad Alasgarov would like to return the team’s previous reputation in the direct sense of the word. But as political events in the country weren’t stand aside as it was infected all fields of life.

    After 1991st year season, Ukraine, including Baltic countries and Georgia, declared that they would hold their independent championship. After a while that political processes resulting with USSR dissolution, summed up with establishment of organization called as CIS. And Vyacheslav Koloskov who led Union’s football kitchen, put forward an idea on holding CIS championship. Azerbaijan, including Central Asia, Russia and Armenia gave their consent on holding such championship…

    Competition organizers joined "Neftchi” to Strong player group. Lots had already been drawn and calendar was set. In this case, "Spartak” rejected to play. The team coach Oleg Romantsev explained its reason with new economic relations. He stated that additional costs were meaningless to "Spartak” related its visit to Baku, Dushanba and Tashkent. Thereafter other Muscovite clubs joined to "Spartak”. This statement was equal with being driven out the teams of CIS Republics from the championship. Koloskov and his supporters were obliged to change their mind on their claim after position of Moscow clubs was evident.

    Only afterwards, persons led our football, comprehended necessity on holding independent championship. In short time, AFFA was established, it was arrived at a decision holding the first independent national championship. With the dissolution of USSR, the club gave about 2 million rubles being in Moscow bank account of "Neftchi” and 1600 USD fund coming from Igor Ponomaryov’s sale to Sweden, to the assistance fund on war after such amount was transferred to our country.

    Getting ready to Union-scale competitions "Neftchi” had to play in Republican first place. This fact was not without affect to footballers’ psychology. Some players preferred to leave the team not reconciling with this condition. However, "Neftchi” could keep staff core. 26 teams were allowed in the first championship. The teams were seperated in two semigroups. They had to determine the first sixth place in the first phase, and in the second phase, medal owners should be determined. But "Neftchi” wasn’t able to join the competitions from the first turn. And the reason was that its rival in the first turn - Baku "Inshaatchi” was in Iran visit. The team joined the championship only from 3rd turn. In the first match of its independency, "Neftchi” played with "Khazar”. As some primary players of our team played in the staff of Sumgayit inhabitants, the rival was very strong. The game was differed with its tension. Baku inhabitants could gain a victory only with a goal of Yunis Huseynov scored from penalty before 3 minutes until the end. And one interesting moment was that after this match, a "Neftchi” footballer Novruz Azimov went to front voluntarily. Outstripping events a little we would like to add that after "Neftchi” became a champion Novruz Azimov was rewarded with gold medal though he played only one game according to AFFA’s decision.

    Afterwards Baku inhabitants did not know what failure was consecutively in 12 games. Not having doubts about its magnificence in provinces "Neftchi” amazed as a super team. In USSR times, clubs performing in inner championship for a long time, had to play against a number one team of the Republic then. "Neftchi’s” glory caused those teams break down from psychological point of view. Even consecutively in 9 games, "Neftchi” was able to ensure inviolability of its door. A victory series of our team continued until 13th turn. Differing with its claim in the championship, "Khazar” performed game with Flagman as if it was the last fight. Being confident from victories "Neftchi” had its first and only big-score failure in national championship in Sumgayit. Yunis Huseynov’s series came to an end by this game as well. Record of the team that depressed its rival goalkeepers consecutively in 12 games, had been broken. Our team didn’t feel bitterness of failure until the end of the first phase. As former scores were taken into account "Neftchi’s” dominancy was completely clear in the second phase.

    Perhaps due to result of such predominance, performing the duty from the beginning our footballers played final phase relatively weak. Though failures in Ganja and "at home” with Garabagh, our team executed its first championship in Republican stadium on October 24. In that day, meeting with "Turan” the leader came together with its first "gold”. However, the guests scored a goal; Samir Alakbarov scored "a golden goal” in 42nd minute. He was an author of 100thgoal of "Neftchi” in country championship as well. At the end of the season, Samir Alakbarov was elected as a strongest footballer of the first independent championship of Azerbaijan.

    Finding no team in the championship as its rival, the team had not so successful performance in the Cup competition. In the first game defeating "Kurmuk” in Gakh with minimal score Baku inhabitants stumbled in the next game. The team wasn’t able to overcome "Inshaat” (Baku) obstacles in 1/4 final – 1:2. Samir Alakbarov was the first goal owner of "Neftchi” in the Cup competition.

  • 1993

    In spite of internal condition and war was in our country, AFFA was able to hold the second championship. This championship was held in short time period related transition to "autumn-spring” system in future. Being divided into two subgroups the teams had to determine semifinalists. And in the second phase, semifinalists had to specify owners of different hallmark medals.

    Ahmad Alasgarov decided to leave the team after the first championship. After him, champions Asgar Abdullayev, Dmitri Kramarenko, Ilham Gambarov, Igor Getman and Vladislav Nosenko left the staff. "Neftchi” lost Yunis Huseynov, Rasim Abushov and Emin Aghayev within championship period.

    On the purpose of preparation to the season the team participated in the tournament dedicated to Martyrs’ memory and was a winner. Baku inhabitants defeated "Kapaz” in final match.

    On January 25, taking part in "Unity Cup” tournament "Neftchi” entered the international area for the first time in our independent football. But the first performance in the tournament was very unsuccessful. On the purpose of strengthening "Neftchi”, several members of the national team were involved to the staff, but it worked contrary and the team could display its game in no way. Though Baku inhabitants struggled against "Skonto” in the first game, they were defeated with minimal score. One might say as well that not only "Neftchi”, but nobody could show resistance in that tournament against "Spartak” that was CIS national team.

    Though after A. Alasgarov, debut of Sergey Kramarenko (Vagif Sadigov substituted for him in this position within the season period) who took the team’s helm, was unsuccessful, our team defeated "Inshaatchi” (Baku) that was country cup winner – 4:1 in the match for First Super Cup held in initiative of "Sahar” newspaper after returning Baku.

    "Neftchi” should struggle in group "A” in the championship. Here a difficult struggle was waiting for the team against "Kapaz” and "Turan” that had strong and stable staff. Some footballers were transferred to province teams. Even the matter reached to such an extent that intending to complete the preseason staff "Neftchi” could not achieve it. Only after championship games had commenced, Aydin Alakbarov and Zohrab Gadiyev were invited to the team. After the first turns, it was known that main rivals of the champion would be Western representatives like "Turan” and "Kapaz” in real. "Neftchi” fell behind some clubs from financial point of view. Fortunately, persons helping the team didn’t lose their interest in such complicated condition. Almost the only sponsor of the champion was Museyib Beydiyev who was a father of footballer Arani Beydiyev. In spite of all difficulties, "Neftchi” ended the first lap in leaders’ group. However, the team gained 3rd place in the group, it ended the season without a medal and without gaining claiming for play-off phase.

    "Neftchi” couldn’t move forward in the cup competition until the end. Though OIK (6:0, 0:1) and "Khazar” Sumgayit (0:0, 0:0, 4:3 – with penalties) were excluded from the struggle, "Garabagh” obstacles were able to be overcome in 1/4 final – 1:2, 0:0.

  • 1993/94

    Championship held next time was memorable with its innovations. AFFA held the championship on "autumn-spring” system for the first time. The main purpose here was to keep up with European footballers after joining to European football. Differing from the first two championships, in this case, teams should have to determine champion in turn competition consisting of two laps. Number of teams had already decreased to 16 in relation to former championships.

    "Neftchi” were getting ready to championship zealously. Young professional Vagif Sadigov invited some young footballers and could establish a martial staff consisting of unity of young and experienced footballers. The team gained a victory in all preseason held test matches. When the championship began, Asgar Abdullayev joined to the team as well after a one-year interval. It was clear in the championship period that five teams - "Neftchi”, "Kapaz”, "Turan, "Garabagh” and "Khazar” were more pretentious for the champion title. The first lap passed without any scandal and mentioned teams achieved first steps of leaderboard. On the eve of second lap, it was found out that AFFA would be a full member of UEFA soon and the champion team would represent our country in Eurocups for the first time.

    Just after it with starting the second lap, "Neftchi” was undergone with referee tensions. And game with "Turan” in Tovuz was culminating point. In this case, the team rejected to play with "Kapaz” in Baku and "Avtomobilchi” in Yevlakh. Consecutively two technical failures resulted for Baku club with depriving of participation right in championships and competitions for country cup by the decision of AFFA Presidium dated on April 25, 1994 and according to 4th article of 2nditem of AFFA disciplinary Code. Taking into account our national team’s advantage "Neftchi” members were allowed to perform in other clubs. Not agreeing with this decision, flagman submitted an appeal and required to hold Tovuz match again. But "Neftchi” was excluded from the championship as the claim wasn’t provided. The team ended the championship in 8th phase getting technical defeat in the next 6 games.

    Flagman joined to Professional Football League championship that newly established after some friendly game and even gained second place. But these cores were taken into account in nowhere as UEFA considered PFL an illegal structure.

    As the team was excluded from the championship, cup matches couldn’t be ended as well. Gaining technical victory as its rival in the first phase - "Goytapa” didn’t appear in the game, "Neftchi” was out of the struggle not playing with "Garabagh” in 1/4 final, though it overcame "Vilash” (Masalli) obstacle in 1/8 final (4:0, 1:2).

  • 1994/95

    After 3rd championship, being hurt by AFFA, "Neftchi” began compete in Professional Football League. Being established by Azerbaijan-Ukraine Society Zakir Taghiyev, PFL held its championship as an alternative to AFFA. And in its term, AFFA held Azerbaijan championship as well. As some clubs performed in PFL, UEFA had to interfere in this matter. They stated unambiguously that only participants of competitions held by AFFA would take part in international tournaments. Only after it, some teams, including "Neftchi” joined to Country’s first place. Though several turns were passed, AFFA let "Neftchi” play in Strong player group of the championship. Baku representative joined to the championship from 3rdturn. PFL was dissolved soon.

    Team principal Chingiz Ismayilov left "Neftchi”. Having strong financial crisis. "Neftchi” had been taken under Rasim Rafiyev’s patronage. So from summer of 1994, a "Riad” period began in the history of the club and team’s financial state was got better rather enough. It was true that R.Rafiyev was a vice-president of the club though he was a main sponsor of the team. And Aydin Ibrahimov remained in the position of official president of the club.

    Restoration performances of the team in championship made the management to strengthen the staff. It was true that "Neftchi’s” core was almost kept. In spite of everything leading footballers such as E.Hasanov, A.Alakbarov, K.Bayramov, M.Azimov, B.Musayev and Y. Huseynov kept and preserved their loyalty in relation the club. One of footballers who left "Neftchi” – main figure Samir Alakbarov went to Mingachevir. Asgar Abdullayev and Arani Beydiyev ended their football careers. As financial possibilities of the team got better, it wasn’t difficult to bring new footballers. But it was somehow difficult as a lot of leading footballers had already concluded an agreement with their clubs.

    Preparing "Neftchi” for new season, Vagif Sadigov forwarded to Sumgayit football who had strict financial pool and was floundering in crisis in that time. He invited footballers whom he knew enough well as he played with them closely someday. Transferring from "Khazar” to "Neftchi” Rauf Salamov, defenders Mehman Yunusov, Vugar Ismayilov and fullback Nazim Aliyev assured their mastership levels in "Neftchi” as well. Nazim Aliyev became the most productive fullback not only in "Neftchi”, but also in whole championship by scoring 26 goals to rival’s "door”. Other than these footballers, Vyacheslav Lichkin made his debut in Azerbaijan championship being in "Neftchi” staff. Favors of other newcomer footballers such as Ali Abishov and Afgan Talibov who returned Russia, weren’t less benefits for the team. And in the second lap, the first legionary footballer was invited. Otari Korgalidze who was known with his performances in Georgia. It was true that legionary could score a goal in both competitions though he had few games either in champions or in cup. He left his mark in history as a first foreign footballer who hoisted Azerbaijan trophy over his head as well.

    At last after a long interval, "Neftchi” restored its performances in the championship. However, there hadn’t been carried out a special training for the championship, the team’s start was perfectly well. In the first game, defeating "Vilash” with big score (4:0) "Neftchi” became one of two teams that weren’t defeated in the first lap. After the first lap, it was revealed that main rivals of "Neftchi” would be "Kapaz”, "Turan” and "Garabagh”.

    In inter-lap interval, "Neftchi” represented our football in "Unity Cup”. In fact, it was "Turan’s” right. However, the mission was charged to "Neftchi” at the result of their rejection. At last, the team gained its first victory though it didn’t perform successfully in the tournament.

    After the second lap began, Baku inhabitants were able to compete with western representatives. But unfortunately "Neftchi” decreased its championship chance by stumbling in Tovuz and Ganja. However, "Neftchi’s” being placed among medalists after two-year interval, could be considered as its success.

    "Neftchi’s” performance in cup competitions was much more successful. The team passed "Plastik” Salyan behind in the first phase. In the next two phases, the team had not problems in games with its countrymen "Baki fahlasi” and "Inshaatchi”. In semifinal, flagman could overcome the obstacle as another Baku club "Khazri” put up resistance. Only final game with "Kur” differed with its tension. Becoming a pretentious club for that time and being greedy of reward "Kur” struggled against Baku inhabitants until the end. Only a goal scored by Yunis Huseynov from penalty kick towards the end of the game, caused "Neftchi” gain the cup. The team owned the reward gaining a victory in all 9 games had in the cup.

    As a matter of fact, being defeated only in 3 matches out of 33 that it had consecutively in championship and cup competitions, was an indicator of "Neftchi’s” real strength. Unfortunately, these results concerned only to inner competitions. Due to season results, the team appeared on European scene for the first time in its history. "Neftchi” had to compete in Cup trophies as a country cup owner.

  • 1995/96

    Ending last championship with the medal "Neftchi” was preparing next season diligently. At first Otar Korgalidze left the team. As far as young local talented player would be more efficiently than aged legionary as to the philosophy of head coach. In addition, Mirbaghir Isayev and Afgan Talibov left the team as well. In spite of them, after one-year Israel and Mingachevior career Samir Alakbarov returned "Neftchi”. And Vladimir Tuayev joined to "whitish-blackish” staff as well.

    Strictly getting ready for the season Baku inhabitants gained their first cup when the championship hadn’t began yet. They became a winner in Super Cup held by "Sahar” newspaper. Our footballers defeated "Turan” in final – 1:1 (with penalties – 8:7).

    Preparation of "Neftchi” to new season was considered to have successful performance in continent cups, which it would participate for the first time. But our team couldn’t overcome "Apoel” Cyprus obstacle. Having to reconcile with defeat in Nicosia (0:3) Baku inhabitants couldn’t revenge on it in answer match held in Sumgayit – 0:0. It wouldn’t eventually be estimated as a bad result for that period. Until the team "Turan” and "Kapaz” represented Azerbaijan in Eurocups and ended all matches with failure. And the only point "Neftchi” gained was not only the team’s point, but also the first point that Azerbaijan gained in club level. Our team could put its signature here.

    AFFA made change in the regulations for holding V championship that at the result the championship was held in two-phase system as previously. At first, teams had to end two-lap primary phase. And in the second phase, they should struggle for 1-6 and 7-12th places. And even teams had to begin second phase not with zero, but with golden points. It was made for the teams to perform diligently in each game. "Neftchi” began the championship enough confidently. Baku inhabitants hadn’t a defeat in 11 games, but they were defeated only in 12thmatch in Tovuz. In winter, serious staff changes had been made in the team. Vagif Sadigov resigned his post. Asif Aliyev was officially appointed as a new head coach for "Neftchi”. Just A. Aliyev was considered as a head coach officially. In fact, it wasn’t true. Being a head coach of the national team as well, Kazbek Tuayev led the team. And A. Aliyev was one of his associates as Boyukagha Aghayev. Besides head coach, some players left the team as well. Fuzuli and Khagani Mammadov brothers went to Rostov. And being one of leaders of the team’s forward line Nazim Aliyev changed Baku representative with "Garabagh”. As Bakhtiyar Musayev was called for military service, OIK had to keep its pride. Other than these players, Ali Abushov, Gulammirza Asadullayev, Kamil Bayramov left the team as well. In spite of them, several strong players had been invited to the staff. Ilham Mammadov and Vidadi Rzayev from "Turan” were transferred to Baku. Rasim Abushov came to "Neftchi” from "Garabagh”. Undergoing such serious staff change the team didn’t repudiate from its claim. A group of newcomer coaches could continue V. Sadigov’s post. "Neftchi” ended 5thphase of first phase of the championship. The team was 2 points behind from "Kapaz” and 1 point from "Khazri” due to quantity of golden points.

    According to AFFA’s decision, games of second phase were held among medal claiming teams in Baku and Sumgayit cities. It was planned for teams to compete in the same condition. It could almost be considered that the championship was ended for "Kur-Nur” out of teams allowed to final phase. Each of rest five teams had chances to gain gold medals. And it was an indicator how hard the championship would be. After beginning final games, it was clear that "Garabagh” wasn’t ready for such hard struggle and Aghdam inhabitants were out of this struggle. And rest four teams had to share medals among each other. "Neftchi” began the second phase with confidence. Furthermore, the team had taken the first kick from "Kapaz”. It was very interesting that both of the games that "Neftchi” failed in the second phase, were against "Kapaz”. But playing better with other rivals "whitish-blackish” players didn’t see any failure any more. And it was the result that at long last "Neftchi” players were able to put gold medals on their neck at last. Herewith the flagman achieved its second championship.

    "Neftchi” played pretty well in the cup as well. In the primary two phases, Baku inhabitants excluded "Goyazan” and "Shirvan-Orkhan” from struggle without meeting difficulty. "Neftchi” received the first defeat from "Kapaz” in 1/4 final – 0:1. And in answer match, Abushov’s goal took the team to semifinal in additional time (2:0). In this phase, matches with "Baki fahlasi” was remembered not only with its tension, but also with scandal. Being nominal host "Neftchi” equated in the first match in the homeland – 1:1. Both of the parties were preparing for play-off more diligently. Herewith "Neftchi” could pass two balls to rival’s door until the interval. Just the second ball caused to a big scandal. "Baki fahlasi” rejected to continue second part of the game and "Neftchi” passed to final. Here defeating Aghdam "Garabagh” (3:0), the team gained cups consecutively two times and appropriated "golden double” for the first time in its history. It resulted due to selfless labour of everybody from team’s management to its players indeed. Playing the championship in high level Vidadi Rzayev was elected the best player of the season.

    Labor of Boyukagha Aghayev and Asif Aliyev together with the head architect of the victory Kazbek Tuayev wasn’t undeniable. Here giving additional information, it is the right time to add some notes. According to official documents, on January 25, 1996, Asif Aliyev was appointed as a head coach of "Neftchi”. The team achieved "golden double”, afterwards silver medals just under his leadership. But at that time, Tuayev was within the team staff as well. Though Aliyev performed this post on legal base only, in fact, he was one of associates of Tuayev. Moreover, Aliyev worked in "whitish-blackish” players’ camp 5 years (1995-2000) without a break. The most known professionals of our football – Kazbek Tuayev, then Ruslan Abdullayev and Ahmad Alasgarov benefited supports of Asif Aliyev as well. Later on, Aliyev is the only professional being loyal to this camp for 5 years though he left the club on Asaf Namazov’s request who came "Neftchi” with "his own team”.

  • 1996/97

    The team came together after a short interval. The reason was that the team represented our republic in UEFA cup. At that time, European football organization let our country championship only to UEFA cup. Coaching Corps understood this obligation and prepared to next season diligently. But unfortunately, it was impossible to save experienced staff on the eve of tournament. Some players informed that they would like to leave the team. Vyacheslav Lichkin and Vladimir Tuayev went to Russia. Mais Azimov, Mehman Yunusov, Vugar Ismayilov, Rauf Salamov and Rauf Mehdiyev transferred to other clubs. Despite of losses, the team could invite experienced footballers to its staff. Azad Mutallimov, Jeyhun Tanriverdiyev, Adahim Niftaliyev, Mahmud, Musa and Gurban Gurbanovs joined the team. Khalig Gafarov was brought as a substitute of Khalig Gafarov who was only goalkeeper not leaving "Neftchi”. And no change had been in Coaching Corp. Head coach of the national team Kazbek Tuayev still led the team. But this position was executed by Asif Aliyev in official documents.

    Despite of all staff changes, "Neftchi” was preparing to European tournament passionately. Even they invited other footballers to the team based on leasing. "Neftchi” impressed as if it is mini-national team. It was true that though there were strong footballers in the staff, it was felt that they had few experience on playing together. It could be noticed in preseason friendly matches held with different teams of the republic. In spite of all of these, "Neftchi” opened a new page in Azerbaijan football history in Eurocups. Baku inhabitants gained a historical victory over "Lokomotiv” Bulgaria – 2:1. It was true that they could hit their mark to Azerbaijan football anyway, though they were undergone a bitter failure in answer match (0:6).

    AFFA made changes in inner championship once more. The championship was held by tested system consisting of two laps. In addition, another unparalleled decision was resolved in football world. AFFA assumed as a basis not only points scored by main teams in order to determine country champion. A championship of two-age group teams had been held in order to give a push to develop children football parallel to making clubs to this engagement. Point total scored just in both two age groups would be divided in two and would be added to main team indicator. A team scoring much more points would be considered as a winner due to this indicator.

    "Neftchi” commenced the championship very pretentiously. The flagman gained a victory in all primary nine games that six of them were with big-score. A strong attack tandem was established as an example of Gurban Gurbanov and Samir Alakbarov. This tandem signed more than half of goals scored by the team. Led by Arif Asadov, the defensive line could make impassable obstacle as well. "Neftchi” was undergone primary losses only in the games with Western representatives. In spite of this, it ended the first lap in the top level of leaderboard. At the end of the year, the team member Vidadi Rzayev was elected the best footballer of Azerbaijan. But Kazbek Tuayev went into retirement from his head coach post and was deprived of coach license. At the result, "Neftchi” management was obliged to take Aghasalim Mirjavadov to Moscow as a head coach. "White-black” players ended the three matches with failure in the tournament. The team was undergone with staff changes once again in inner-state interval. Footballers like Adahim Niftaliyev and Azad Mutallimov left the team. In spite of them, Elnur Gambarov and Ramil Habibov who played in U-18, were involved to the staff. Moreover, returning the staff Musa Gurbanov strengthened defensive lane even more. At the beginning of the championship, Musa performed in "white-black” form in two games. But Musa had to return Mingachevir again as "Neftchi” and Kur-Nur” didn’t come to an agreement on transfer issue. And he joined the team only from second lap.

    Even after interval, "Neftchi” continued its performances successfully. The team didn’t lose the first place on leaderboard from primary turns to last turn. After first lap, it was known that four teams – "Neftchi”, "Garabagh”, "Khazri” and "Turan” were leading nominees for gold medals. In the first lap, "Neftchi” was defeated only by "Garabagh” among these teams and could score points from other two teams. Despite of quantity minority of players performing in the staff, the team was able to keep successful tempo till the end. Though championship load was undergone by twelve members of main staff, they reached the finish initially in competition of main teams without stumbling. Following the champion until the end "Garabagh” ended the season in the second phase. And Gurban Gurbanov became a goal-scorer of 6th championship by disappointing rival goalkeepers for 34 times. But happy moments of the club didn’t last long. "Neftchi” could gain only 10, 5 points in the competition of teenage teams. This indicator was the fourth among the teams. Only just weak performance of teenagers deprived "Neftchi” from gold medals. Due to its general results, AFFA declared "Garabagh” a champion and gave gold medals to Aghdam inhabitants hastily. Just this decision caused arguments continuing until today. Though AFFA declared "Garabagh” a champion, UEFA let "Neftchi” in Champions League. Therefore, Europeans assumed as a basis only indicators of main teams not depending on with what method inner championship was held. It is impossible not to justify persons who considered our team as a champion taking into account only champion could play in Champions League and "Neftchi” represented our country in this tournament. The team performed perfect game in all lines. But forward line played more productively. "Neftchi” passed 98 balls to its rival doors. After 104 goals scored in the first championship it was the highest indicator of the team.

    The flagman began Azerbaijan Cup actively. Consecutively four victories over Baku representatives "Araz” and "OIK”, let Baku inhabitants go ahead two phases. "Neftchi” was deprived of the Cup that it kept for two years only in 1/4 final. The team could not escape from failure as a visitor (0:1), though it defeated "Garabagh” "at home” in this phase (3:2). Aghdam inhabitants reached the semifinal, as they scored much more goals in rival stadium.

  • 1997/98

    Even after last season that ended with scandal, condition in "Neftchi” was getting to be stained on the eve of new championship. It was clear that President Aydin Ibrahimov couldn’t finalize the team. Carrying all load, vice-president and sponsor Rasim Rafiyev’s possibilities were going to end. Though the team needed a news support, President Ibrahimov didn’t want to leave the flagman. Election of Agil Pashayev who protected "Neftchi” in its hard days and who was an owner of "Absheron” hotel as a President, including Ibrahimov’s nonabandonment of his post, remained even the team’s existence was under question. And by other side, the club had debts in a great number to footballers from last year. A. Pashayev agreed to pay these debts as well. The only settlement from Ibrahimov’s resistance was to reestablish "Neftchi” Professional Football Club. So on June 27, 1997, "Neftchi” PFK was established by foundation of "Riad” firm that was owned by Rasim Rafiyev, in the meeting held in "Absheron” hotel. However, Founder "Riad” firm recognized Agil Pashayev as a President, A. Ibrahimov stated that he was the president and the team just led by him would play in Champions League. Even he could make head coach Kazbek Tuayev and footballers believe this information. But "Neftchi” PFK began to collect new staff and get ready to continent cups under leadership of new president. Not depending on how much effort Ruslan Abdullayev who was appointed as a head coach and federation made, to persuade the footballers was impossible. Moving forward a little more, we’d like to add that the team whose president was A. Ibrahimov and head coach K. Tuayev, even appeared in the stadium in order to play with "Vidzev” (Poland). But being interrupted by policeman, "Neftchi” was informed that they were almost in the stadium. Just then, they understood that they were deceived.

    And until this moment, new management was searching settlement way by establishing a staff consisting of young players. Being accommodated in "Absheron” hotel, Mehman Yunusov, Vugar Ismayilov, Kamal Guliyev, Khagani Mammadov from "Sumgayit”, Ilham Yadullayev, Adahim Niftaliyev and Eyvaz Valiyev from "OIK”, Zaur Ismayilov, Jeyhun Sultanov, Tarlan Mahmudov and Etibar Tariverdiyev from "Farid” and Ruslan Musayev from U-18 before 3 weeks to the game with "Vidzev” in the Champions League, began trainings in Republican stadium. Before several days to the game, Elkhan Hasanov, Yunis Huseynov, Vidadi Rzayev, Musa and Gurban Gurbanovs including Arif Asadov and Yashar Vahabzada joined "Neftchi” from champion staff as well. It wasn’t difficult to predict the result while imaging how the team was getting ready to such an important game. That was what should happen: 0:2, 0:8.

    On the eve of new national championship, E.Hasanov, Y.Huseynov, A.Karimov, V.Rzayev, M.Gurbanov and G. Gurbanov among experienced players remained at the team. After scandalous establishment, Samir Alakbarov who stated that AFFA president Fuad Musayev dissolved "Neftchi”, was deprived of football for life according to absolute unfair decision of the federation. In order to settle a problem arising in forward line, Pasha Aliyev was invited to the staff. Lots were successful for our team. After 5 turns, having to be satisfied with a draw in Sumgayit our footballers gained a victory in 4 matches. It was true that, victory in the second turn was abolished as "Khazri” left the championship after 7 turns. In the 6th turn, "Neftchi” met with the first failure. Not being able to show resistance against "Kapaz” that was one of main nominees of the Championship, flagman was defeated with the score of 0:2. But it wasn’t the end and in next turn, a sensational defeat by "Vilash” in Baku was waiting for the team for the first time of the team history. After two failures, condition in leaderboard was become enough worse and Ruslan Abdullayev ended his 4-month activity. Coach Asif Aliyev was commissioned to "Neftchi” temporarily. And search for head coach didn’t last long: a search dwelled on Kazbek Tuayev who had another blow from scandal (his coach license was withdrawn). Just A. Aliyev’s name was on official documents as he didn’t have right work as a head coach. And this change wouldn’t work. In the first circle ending in December, "Neftchi” played a draw with "Shamkir” "at home” and was defeated by "Garabagh” and "OIK”. Herewith it was revealed that the team’s force wasn’t enough to struggle for championship. But problems wouldn’t end: in interstate interval, the team rejected to be sent to Moscow for "Unity Cup” due to misunderstandings in the staff.

    Tuayev had to do changes in interstate interval. Near to the end of the circle, after Musa Gurbanov’s leave from the team, Gurban Gurbanov, who was a goal-scorer of last championship, answered positively to offer coming from Russia. The coach was obliged to trust to young players, as it was impossible to find footballer to replace them. And it wouldn’t prove itself. In primary 7 turns of the second circle, "Neftchi” could defeat only U-18 who participated out of competition. And more 6 points added due to technical victory over "Sumgayit” and "Garabagh” (Barda) who left the championship. Our footballers gained 4 victories in total in the second lap. "Neftchi” could only gain 6th place at the result of unpleasant things following the team throughout the season.

    A target aimed in competitions for Country cup was inaccessible. Though Tuayev’s trainees moved forward until semifinal, "Kapaz” – the strongest team for its staff, was waiting for them. At the result, being defeated either in Baku or in Ganja with the same score (1:2) the flagman could not gain any victory having the most unsuccessful season of its independent football history. The team gained second place only in championship of substitute staffs held for the first time.

  • 1998/99

    After failure in the last season, aiming to be a champion this year "Neftchi” took some measures in the direction of strengthening the staff. But there weren’t few players leaving the staff. Being in the main staff last year, Vidadi Rzayev, Yunis Huseynov, Pasha Aliyev, Mehman Yunusov, Aslan Karimov, Jeyhun Sultanov, Khaqani and Fuzuli Mammadovs, left the team. In spite of them, a contract had been concluded with Samir Khairov, Elchin Rahmanov, Igor Getman coming from "Anzhi”, Bakhtiyar Musayev from "Garabagh” and some other footballers.

    In comparison with last year, 8thchampionship was held according to new rule. After first phase of two laps, the teams would go on struggle in first "sixth place”, second and third for "fourth places”. At the beginning of the championship, "Neftchi” didn’t differ from last year. An instable game was obvious though Baku inhabitants – who were defeated in primary two games out of 3, scored necessary points from future outsiders. Therefore, the management was thinking about taking urgent measures in the direction of strengthening the staff. Even footballers being rashly invited from Russia played only an extra role participating only in one game totally in different times. At the result, fullback Leonid Kalfa from Ukraine, halfback Aleksey Stukas and fullback Vladimir Poshekhontsev came Baku. Kalfa displayed that he would help the team with his important goals from first games. Even he left his mark in history by scoring 5 goals in the match with "Shahdagh” ending with the score of 11:0 in the second lap.

    Then "Neftch” was 7 points behind from the leader. Being unsatisfied with the result management decided to send Tuayev to retirement. And it wasn’t necessary to look for a nominee replacing him not for a long time. Ahmad Alasgarov was appointed as a head coach for "Neftchi” for how many times, later on it would be cleared that for the last time. Though enough people withdrew "Neftchi”, a purpose put before new head coach was just championship. Even vice-president Rasim Rafiyev stated that they would struggle for the first place in his interview to media. Though point different of our team was big in comparison with leader, it wasn’t terrible. However, all participants would begin "sixth place” from "zero”. And Baku inhabitants almost solved "sixth place” problem. On the eve of critical phase, Samir Alakbarov- whose lifelong disqualification was decreased for two years, joined to the team. Returning "Fakel” Tarlan Ahmadov reached to the first game of "sixth place”. In the first game of critical phase that each point was priceless, "Neftchi” was not able to break resistance of old "Baku Fahlasi” that changed its name to "ANS Pivani”. After victory over "Shamkir”, a hard game was waiting for Alasgarov’s trainees in Ganja where they would meet unfairness. Driving out Samir Khairov from the stadium, head referee "gifted” 3 points to Ganja inhabitants by appointing unfair penalty to our door in 88thminute. Game with "Garabagh” in Sumgayit was difficult as well. Our team achieved advantage after Aghdam inhabitants scored a goal in the first part. Our fullbacks missed goal episodes one after another and lost three points – 0:1. After next draw with "ANS Pivani”, being keeping away from the leader rather enough "Neftchi” scored 3 unanswered goals against "Kapaz” in Baku, but it didn’t change anything and our team satisfied only with bronze medal.

    In spite of this, our footballers struggled immensely for Cup. Moving strong "Garabagh” away the competition in 1/8 final (0:0, 2:0), Baku inhabitants gained a victory over "Bakili” in 1/4 final – 4:0. After failure in the first game, "Bakili” didn’t participate in answer match. Settling "Turan’s” "matter” in the first game (3:0, 0:1) a difficult match with "Shamkir” was waiting for our team. Final passed boringly and playing carefully the parties basically tried to save the door inviolability. There was no goal in main and additional time and winner was determined by penalties. In this phase, our goalkeeper Jahangir Hasanzada helped us to win the Cup for the third time by sending Mehman Yunusov’s kick back– 5:3.

  • 1999/00

    Getting ready the season with game that would be held in the primary phase of UEFA Cup, "Neftchi commenced a preparatory phase in Baku. Head coach Ahmad Alasgarov decided to make basically substantial changes in the staff. By his offer, the management transferred Samir Aliyev, Adahim Niftaliyev and Elshan Gambarov. However, near target was to pass a phase in UEFA Cup, at last, all matters were planned to be a champion. Even Zaur Taghizada joined to the staff on the eve of European Cups as well. In spite of this, the coach refused Samir Alakbarov.

    It was "Srvena Zvezda” being the strongest team among participating teams in primary phase of UEFA Cup in its turn and gained a European Champions Cup that lot fated just this team to our team’s destiny. Everybody considered Yugoslavians a favorite undoubtedly. But it was revealed just from the first moments that Alasgarov had prepared his footballers enough well from psychological, physical and tactical point of view for the first match. Vadim Vasilyev scored a goal just in 27th moment. And in the second part, achieving advantage our team leveled up the score to 2:0 in the next forward. But, only after two minutes, at the result of Boskovich’s distance kick and Jahangir Hasanzada’s gross mistake, the difference decreased to one goal, could the thousands of fan beloved players gathering in the stadium, hardly find time to be happy enough until the score difference was increased for rival’s favor. More two minutes passed and what a shock… The score was already 2:3. Neither fans nor footballers, nor Janahgir-who lost himself from his gross mistake, had strength to understand what had happened. The score didn’t change, though our footballers pulled themselves together. After a weak in the answer match, Yugoslavians gained with minimal score again and passed to next phase.

    IX championship began well for "Neftchi”. Lining up victories from first turns, our team played a draw with "Shafa” in 5th turn unexpectedly. In next match, no goal was scored against main rival "Shamkir” for championship in Baku. After 7 turns "Neftchi” and "Shamkir” had 17 points when were sent to two-month interval. And "Kapaz” was 1 point behind.

    No strict changes had been in the staff in the season ending in February. But in 8th turn, clubs having arguments with federation, didn’t appear in the stadium. Organizing leaders’ group "Neftchi”, "Kapaz” and "Shamkir” saved their position though a technical defeat was given to all clubs other than "Vilash” according to decision of AFFA Disciplinary Committee. In the eve of final of first lap, AFFA allowed an illegality against our team and made a decision about transferring goalkeeper Jahangir Hasanzada to "Shafa” without grounding upon any facts. Notwithstanding all efforts made, it was impossible to send main goalkeeper back the staff and stating young Farhad Afandiyev’s name other than J. Hasanzada in order-made application, "Neftchi” got into difficult situation. Providing conditions for "Shafa” to transfer its goalkeeper AFFA didn’t allow us to transfer an experienced goalkeeper. Desperate A. Alasgarov had no way other than hoping to inexperienced Afandiyev. But recently, experienced Tarlan Ahmadov left the team and Zaur Taghizada and Elchin Rahmanov went to military service. Failing in the first turn of second lap in Ganja without solving problems in the staff, the flagman got its first failure and "Shamkir” increased the score difference. As if after a draw with "Garabagh” and being defeated by "Shamkir” and "Vilash”, despondent footballers fell off championship competition. After failure in Masalli Ahmad Alsgarov return Odessa where he permanently lived by resigning and the team was commissioned to Shamil Heydarov permanently. Spoiling atmosphere in "Neftchi” resulted with point loss in more several games and with 3rd place in final.

    Differing from championship, "Neftchi” had resolute impression in country cup. Leaving behind "Shafa-2” (3:0, 3:1) and "ANS-Pivani” (1:0, 1:0) obstacles, the team made farewells with Cup competition not passing "Kapaz” (0:1, 0:0) in semifinal. In the final of country cup, defeating "Garabagh”, "Kapaz” became a winner of Cup and "Neftchi” a bronze medal owner relatively and gained claiming for UEFA Cup.

  • 2000/01

    The first thing "Neftchi” had to do was to solve a head coach problem. Though there were some candidates, the management chose Asaf Namazov who was former player of our team, had working experience in inner-country and Iran and a member of coaches’ council of national team. New coach, who stated that he understood the obligation fully, strengthened the team with experienced footballers like Mushfig Huseynov, Ramiz Mammadov, Zaur Hidayatov, Arif Asadov, Mais Azimov instead of Ukrainian triple who returned their homeland. His first test was against "Shahdagh” Guba in country championship and encouraged the fans with victory scoring 3:0. After 5 days of it, a first game in the primary phase of UEFA Cup was held. It could be thought that we were lucky though nobody from "Neftchi” went to lot ceremony. It was approved by match in Baku with "Hit-Gortsa” that was known in Europe not so much. M. Huseynov scored a goal just in the first forward. Notwithstanding minimal priority, rival’s level assumed to visit to Slovenia with hopes. Bakhtiyar Musayev could score an answer goal after Farrukh Ismayilov’s pass though hosts scored an early goal in answer match. In order to save the score, head coach replaced fullback V. Vasilyev with defender V. Nuriyev. But his gross mistake in 90thminute caused all hopes to be lost. 3 minutes ago, latter defender I.Yadullayev "gifted” the ball to rival’s fullback and Zlogar scored the second goal. Accordingly, gross mistakes of our two defenders crossed out everything in a step of second phase for the first time in our history. Namazov was sent to retirement not taking into account successful performance in the championship. And Ogtay Abdullayev who had no coaching experience, was appointed instead of him. I. JAvadov was appointed as an adviser, Shamil Heydarov, Yashar Vahabzada and Shakir Garibov as assistant coaches. From 4th turn Jahangir Hasanzada and from 5thturn Tarlan Ahmadov returned the team.

    Lining up victories in the first lap, "Neftchi” achieved leadership from first turns. A draw in Baku with "Shamkir” that was 3 points behind, didn’t impact condition in leaderboard. Notwithstanding, next point loss of the team was game with "Dinamo”, it didn’t affect negatively to the team to end the first lap as a leader. And in the second lap, gaining 3 points in difficult visits such as Ganja and Tovuz, stumbled in Masalli. Though our fullbacks were in one hundred-percent goal situations, hosts were able to save their door inviolable. Our closest follower "Shamkir” decreased the difference to 3 points after this draw that was an alarm signal. Even "Neftchi” satisfied with a draw in the game between main rivals in "Shamkir” before 3 turns prior to the end. But almost getting second yellow card in 30th minute Zaur Ismayilov caused our team be in a difficult situation. Being in minority our players couldn’t answer 2 goals of hosts. The champion should be determined in "Golden game” held in Sumgayit as "Neftchi” and "Shamkir” scored points in the same quantity in main phase of the championship. Conducting the game normal, captain Arif Asadov’s only mistake cost dear to our team. Intending to move the ball Asadov scored an own goal during corner kick to our door in 20th minute – 0:1. At the result, satisfying with silver medal, "Neftchi” was defeated by "Shafa” displaying weak performance in the final game of country cup held in Sumgayit – 1:2.













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