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Balkanabat: Myrat Yagşyyew and Altymyrat Annadurdyyew scored as Turkmenistan secured only a second-ever AFC Asian Cup appearance after recording a 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei in Group E on Tuesday.

Yagşyyew broke the deadlock after 22 minutes at the Sport Toplumy before Annadurdyyew crucially doubled Turkmenistan’s lead just before half-time.

And despite Chen Po-liang’s late penalty setting up a nervous finish for the home side, Turkmenistan held on to secure the win they needed to add to their sole previous AFC Asian Cup appearance in China in 2004.

Chinese Taipei made an encouraging start to the contest, but with the home side resolute in defence, it was Turkmenistan who broke the deadlock midway through the first half as Arslanmyrat Amanow’s ball into the penalty area was controlled by Şohrat Soyunow and Yagşyyew was on hand to sweep home from close range.

Chinese Taipei, though, had a chance to level 14 minutes before the break but Yaki Yen was unable to convert from Chen’s corner into the six-yard area.

And the visitors were made to pay for the missed opportunity as Annadurdyyew was on hand to convert five minutes before half-time from Amanow’s cross not long after Makan Saparow had hit the crossbar for the home side.

Gurbangeldi Batyrow had a chance to extend Turkmenistan’s lead at the start of the second half, but could only fire wide in the 53rd minute.

Orazmuhamedow was again called into action with 17 minutes remaining to deny Chu En-le as the visitors pressed for a way back into the contest.

And Chinese Taipei set up a nervous final few minutes with Chen scoring from the penalty spot with two minutes remaining, but the home side held on to seal their spot with a game to spare.

Photo: AFC