Find out more about the Reds’ 2012 AFC Champions League Match Day 1 opponents – reigning Uzbekistan league champions Bunyodkor.
Find out more about the Reds- 2012 AFC Champions League Match Day 1 opponents - reigning Uzbekistan league champions Bunyodkor.
Where is it? Bunyodkor is one of two clubs based in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent. For those unfamiliar of where to find Uzbekistan on the globe, it is situated north of Afghanistan, south of Kazakhstan, and only a lazy 11,040km from Adelaide.
The Club Bunyodkor won its fourth straight league title in 2011 to qualify for the 2012 edition of the AFC Champions League, a competition they have now featured in for five successive years.
Interestingly, in previous year Bunyodkor has been in the western conference of the competition with clubs from countries such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar etc, however in 2012 they were grouped with the eastern teams and found themselves drawn in Group E alongside Adelaide United, Gamba Osaka and the Pohang Steelers.
The Reds have history with Bunyodkor, as they do with each of the teams in their group. In 2008 the Reds caused a huge upset, bundling the Uzbek club out at the semi final stage with a 3-1 aggregate win. Their semi final berth that year is the farthest Bunyodkor has come in the AFC Champions League despite boasting a wealth of famous football names in both its coaching and playing ranks - names such as Zico, Luis Felipe Scolari, Rivaldo, Server Djeparov, Denilson and Timur Kapadze.
The Stadium At present, Bunyodkor-s home is Jar Stadium, a 10,000 seat boutique stadium not more than 10-15 minutes from the Tashkent city centre. Prior to 2009, Bunyodkor played at the larger MHSK Stadium, but the club is in the process of redeveloping the site for construction of a new venue that will be known as Bunyodkor Stadium and hold 33,000 seats.
Definitely not minnows Make no mistake, Bunyodkor are not just here to make up the numbers. Since the club-s formation as Kuruvuchi in 2005, Bunyodkor has enjoyed a meteoric rise in Uzek football. With owners mixed in the oil trade, they are not short on finances or resources. They moved up from the regional league to the top flight in just two years, and finished runners-up to Pakhtakor in 2007 before they won four consecutive league championships and two Uzbek Cups. Last season they won the league by eight points, scoring an impressive 51 goals in 26 games, and while they are yet to lift the AFC Champions League trophy, their results in the prestigious Asian club competition are also notable.
AFC Champions League record 2011 - Round of 16 2010 - Round of 16 2009 - Quarter-finals 2008 - Semi-finals
Overall in the ACL, Bunyodkor has played 33 matches for a record of 15 wins, eight draws and 10 losses, but it is their formidable home record that stands out with 10 wins, 3 draws and just 2 losses from 15 games, which comprises of 28 goals scored and 10 against.
Their biggest win in the competition came in a 5-1 win over Saipa in the 2008 Quarter Finals, while its heaviest defeat at home is a 1-0 result to both Zobahan and Al Ittihad, which is evidence that the Reds face a mammoth challenge of breaking through at Jar Stadium.
They bowed out to Adelaide United in the semi-finals in 2008 and lost to eventual winners Pohang Steelers in the quarter-finals in 2009 after surrendering a 3-1 lead from the first leg. In the past two seasons, they have gone out in the round of 16, going down 3-0 to Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia in 2010 and 3-1 to Iran-s Sepahan last year.
Lead up to the competition The Uzbek league season has yet to begin, hence Bunyodkor have been gearing up for their season with a training camp in Dubai that included a 1-1 draw with Saudi side Al Ittihad in a friendly match on February 24.
Player info While the Reds have four players still in the squad from the time the Reds and Bunyodkor met in the 2008 ACL Semi Finals, the Uzbek club has only two that have remained since then, defenders Hayrulla Karimov and Sakhob Juraev both starting in their 1-0 victory in the 2nd leg.
Qantas Socceroos winger David Carney could make his competitive debut for Bunyodkor against the Reds. The former Sydney FC player signed for the Uzbek club in February after spells at English Blackpool and Spain-s AD Alorcon.
The other new arrivals at Bunyodkor in the winter include Uzbekistan international midfielder Lutfulla Turaev and defender Artyom Filiposyan, who both joined after helping Nasaf win the AFC Cup last season.
The Coach - Mirdjalal Kasimov Bunyodkor are coached by former Uzbek footballing legend captain Mirdjalal Kasimov. It is Kasimov-s second stint at the club, after he was poached to coach the Uzbek national team in 2008 after being in the Bunyodkor job for less than a year. Replaced Luis Felipe Scolari in 2010.
The Squad 1.IGNATIY NESTEROV (GK, UZB) 2.AKMAL SHORAKHMEDOV (Defender, UZB) 3.DAVID FARAMOLA ONIYA (Defender, NGA) 4.HAYRULLA KARIMOV (Defender, UZB) 5.DILSHOD JURAEV (Defender, UZB) 6.ANVAR GAFUROV (Defender, UZB) 7.DAVID CARNEY (Midfielder, AUS) 8.JOVLON IBROKHIMOV (Midfielder, UZB) 9.ANVAR RAJABOV (Forward, UZB) 10.SHAVKAT SALOMOV (Midfielder, UZB) 13.LUTFULLA TURAEV (Midfielder, UZB) 14.ALIBOBO RAKHMATULLAEV (Midfielder, UZB) 15.MIRAZIZ JALOLOV (Forward, UZB) 16.ARTYOM FILIPOSYAN (Defender, UZB) 17.KAMOLIDDIN MURZOEV (Forward, UZB) 18.SLAVOLJUB DJORDJEVIC (Defender, UZB) 19.YANNIS MANDZUKAS (Midfielder, UZB) 20.ANVARJON SOLIEV (Forward, UZB) 21.SARDOR RASHIDOV (Midfielder, UZB) 22.VICTOR KARPENKO (Midfielder, UZB) 23.SAKHOB JURAEV (Defender, UZB) 24.BAHODIR PARDAEV (UZB) 25.NODIR IBRAKHIMOV (UZB) 26.JAVLON MIRABDULLAEV (UZB) 28.RUSLAN MELZIDDINOV (Defender, UZB) 29.ABDUKAKHKHOR KHOJIAKBAROV (UZB) 30.KAMOLIDDIN TADJIBAEV (UZB) 35.VIKTOR MOCHALOV (GK, UZB) 45.AKBAR TURAEV (GK, UZB)
Most of this information is courtesy of the AFC.