Tashkent: Uzbekistan edged Tajikistan 5-4 with the hosts holding off a late scare to qualify for the next year’s finals of the AFC Futsal Championship.
In the qualifiers match of South and Central Region played at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex, the hosts were in comfort zone after firing five goals past Tajikistan in first 29 minutes of the match but the Tajiks, who had defeated Kyrgyzstan in their first outing a day before, netted three late goals to put the Uzbeks under pressure in the dying moment of the match.
Samad Shohzukhurov scored in his own net as Uzbekistan took a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute. Strikes from Dilshod Rakhmatov, Dilshod Irsaliev and Artur Yunusov put the Uzbeks 4-0 in front in the 22nd minute but Sherzod Jumaev pulled one back for Tajikistan.
Nodir Elibaev netted Uzbekistan’s fifth goal in the 29th minute after which Tajikistan resurgence continued with three quick-fire goals which was not sufficient enough to earn point from the match.
Tajikistan face Turkmenistan and even a draw will be enough for them to qualify in the tournament proper while Kyrgyzstan will try to beat Uzbekistan on Thursday.
Seoul: Choi Yong-soo remains confident his FC Seoul side can advance to a second straight AFC Champions League final despite being held to a 0-0 draw by Western Sydney Wanderers in the first leg of the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Seoul: FC Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo will not be underestimating Western Sydney Wanderers in the first leg of the AFC Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, even if the Australian side denied him the opportunity for revenge.
Riyadh: Nassir Al Shamrani scored two first-half goals as Al Hilal defeated Najran 2-1 in their last domestic fixture before hosting Al Ain in the first leg of their AFC Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.