Win over Myanmar not enough for Tajikistan

OSAKA — Tajikistan fell short of advancing to the final round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers and directly to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 despite a 40 win over Myanmar on Tuesday which saw them finish second in Group F of the Asian Qualifiers.

Needing to better Kyrgyz Republic’s result against group winners Japan to leapfrog their Central Asian neighbors into the runnersup position, the Tajiks opened the scoring just after the halfhour through Komron Tursunov, before goals from Manuchehr Dzhalilov, Sheriddin Boboev and Shahrom Samiev completed a comprehensive victory after the interval.

With Kyrgyz Republic also losing 51, Tajikistan confirmed second position but results elsewhere on Tuesday meant they failed to advance. Myanmar, meanwhile, finished bottom but made it to the final round of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers.

Tajikistan controlled more of the ball in the opening stages at the Yanmar Stadium Nagai but struggled to create goalscoring opportunities, with Parvizjon Umarboev’s inswinging freekick that curled just wide the closest they came in the opening 20 minutes.

Myanmar, who have suffered heavy defeats to Japan and Kyrgyz Republic since the Asian Qualifiers resumed, were looking much more resilient, and Lwin Moe Aung’s 20yard effort forced goalkeeper Rustam Yatimov to palm to safety midway through the half.

The Central Asians then took the lead in the 33rd minute when another dangerously whipped in freekick from Umarboev was headed home by Tursunov as Usmon Toshev’s side breathed new life into their qualification hopes.

Antoine Hey’s Myanmar came close to leveling five minutes before the interval when Hlaing Bo Bo’s crosscumshot from the left evaded everyone only to be tipped wide by the outstretched Yatimov.

Seven minutes after the restart Tajikistan doubled their advantage, Manuchehr Safarov floating in a lovely cross for the unmarked Dzhalilov (pictured above, right) to head into the back of the net for his fourth of the campaign.

The Southeast Asians sought a way back into the game and Mg Mg Lwin broke forward with 20 minutes to play before Suan Lam Mang took over and curled just wide of the mark from 25 yards.

Tajikistan then put the result beyond doubt when captain Ehson Panshanbe slipped a neat through ball to the onrushing Shahrom Samiev, whose low center was tapped home by substitute Boboev.

With five minutes to play the Tajiks added a fourth with substitute Muhammadjon Rahimov’s cross from the left headed into the Myanmar goal by Samiev to round off the scoring. — Agencies

Source: Saudi Gazette

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