AFC President’s Cup

Melaka: Balkan of Turkmenistan advanced to the final of the AFC President’s Cup 2013 for a showdown against KRL Football Club after thrashing Mongolian outfit Erchim 4-0 in Malaysia on Friday.

The Turkmenistan league champions, who opened their campaign against Three Star Club from Nepal with an emphatic 6-0 win on Monday with two of the goals scored in the first half, were barren of goals in the first half of their game against Erchim despite many attempts.

All their four goals occurred in the second half, with the first one taking until the 59th minute to take place.

Balkan took quite a number of corner and free kicks including a long-range one on 38 minutes that arched wide away from the goal post.

On 44 minutes, Erchim’s Brazilian forward Ernani Mauro Costa Candido ran down the left side of goal but his weak delivery was caught easily by Balkan goalkeeper Nikita Gorbunov before the game went into the break.

Balkan midfielder Umidjan Astanov then took a corner kick from the left on 48 minutes but hit the woodwork but heralding the more fruitful efforts to come from the 2011 semi-finalists.

Midfielder Amir Gurbani took a right corner kick 11 minutes later that perfectly connected with defender Mekan Saparov opening the scoring.

It was then Gurbani’s turn to make goal as he converted a penalty kick on 76 minutes taking the lead to 2-0.

Never to rest on their laurels, Balkan defender Bahtiyar Hojaahmedov fired a powerful free kick shot from outside the 18-yard box following a foul taking the scoreline further to 3-0 after 81 minutes.

Gurbani then scored his second goal four minutes from time to emphatically win the game 4-0.

Balkan will clash with KRL of Pakistan in the final on September 29, at Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka.

Photo: WSG

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