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MD3 - Group H: Lebanon 2-1 Turkmenistan

Thursday, October 10, 2019
Lebanon v Turkmenistan - AQ (2)

Beirut: Lebanon overcame a resilient Turkmenistan 2-1 to score their first win in Group H of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 at the Sports City Stadium on Thursday. 

Lebanon secured their first points in Group H, having suffered a 2-0 defeat to DPR Korea on Matchday One.

Turkmenistan fell to a second consecutive defeat, having lost 2-0 to Korea Republic after opening their campaign with a 2-0 win over Sri Lanka in September.

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Lebanon got off to a fantastic start when Hilal Al Helwe lost his marker and headed home Hassan Maatouk’s cross as Turkmenistan custodian Mammet Orazmuhammedov stood rooted.

Turkmenistan immediately went on the offensive but their dominance didn't result in chances as Lebanon goalkeeper Mehdid Khalil was hardly tested.

Lebanon had chances of their own the Cedars’ were not able to get their shots on target.

The match saw the return of Altymyrat Annadurdyyev, who missed out on Turkmenistan’s match with Korea Republic due to an injury, and the striker was influential in the Central Asians attacking force.

Annadurdyyev’s crosses from the left flank constantly troubled Lebanon and in one such instance in the 40th minute, he sent the ball to an unguarded Ruslan Mingazov, whose shot however struck the foot of defender Kassem El Zein before the ball was cleared.

Turkmenistan came extremely close two minutes into added time with Mingazov sprinting on a counter-attack but after outplaying El Zein, his shot from distance struck the left post.

After the break, Lebanon continued to chase for a second goal, and gave Turkmenistan a scare at the hour mark when skipper Maatouk surged down the left flank but his solo-run ended with him rattling the side netting.

Two minutes later, Mohamad Haidar was fouled for a tackle on Annadurdyyev, who then headed home captain Arslan Amanov’s free-kick from almost 30 yards out.

Haidar made up for that mistake two minutes later when he dribbled past the Turkmen defenders into the box before relaying the ball to Nader Mater, who then sidestepped Vezirgeldi Ylyasov before striking home to secure Lebanon the three points.

Lebanon will travel to Colombo to face Sri Lanka on Tuesday, while Turkmenistan will only resume their campaign on November 14, when they host DPR Korea at the Kopetdag Stadium.

Photos: Lebanese Football Association

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