Published: 23 March 2011
Male: Tajikistan defeated Cambodia 3-0 on Wednesday to seal a place in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup finals along with qualifying Group C hosts Maldives, who made sure they advanced by defeating Kyrgyzstan 3-1 in the earlier fixture.
Having claimed all three points courtesy of an 88th minute own goal in their Group C curtain-raiser against Kyrgyzstan two days ago before seeing their Central Asian neighbours succumb to their second successive defeat, the Tajiks knew a victory against a Cambodian side still reeling from a 4-0 loss to the Maldives would see them through to next year’s AFC Challenge Cup finals.
Nurriddin Davronov gave the inaugural Challenge Cup champions the perfect start when he opened the scoring after just two minutes but the Cambodians frustrated their opponents, holding out until the 83rd minute when Davronjon Ergashev settled the Tajik nerves with the second goal.
Ibragim Rabimov put an exclamation mark on the victory by netting Tajikistan’s third with a minute plus stoppage time left to play sending Pulod Koridov’s side through to the next phase of the competition.
Tajikistan and the Maldives will battle it out for top sport on Friday while Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan will be looking to end their fruitless campaigns on a positive note when they meet on the same day.