Group B: Tajikistan 7-0 Korea Republic
Taipei: Tajikistan ended their AFC Futsal Championship Chinese Taipei 2018 campaign on a high note after beating Korea Republic 7-0 on Monday.
Both sides, who had suffered two successive losses earlier, had no chance of advancing to the knockout phase, and were playing for pride. Tajikistan finished third in the Group B, while Korea Republic finished bottom of the standings.
Tajikistan had the lion’s share of possession in the opening minutes with several shots on target, while Korea Republic defended resolutely and played on the counter.
However, the Central Asians eventually broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when goalkeeper Seo Jung-woo neatly deflected Umed Kuziev’s shot but Shavqat Halimov was in the box to hit home for Tajikistan, before Bahodur Khojaev doubled their lead a minute later.
Dilshod Salomov gave Tajikistan a comfortable lead going into the break when he sidestepped Lee Doo-yong before firing a stunning shot into the top right 20 seconds before the half-time whistle at the Xinzhuang Stadium.
After the restart, Korea Republic played with more intensity but couldn’t maintain possession as Tajikistan did well to intercept their passes.
Huseyn Shodyev’s charges continued to impress with a string of goals from Rahmonali Sharipov (23rd), Rustam Hamidov (25th), Iqboli Vositzoda (27th) and Umed Kuziev (39th).
Korea Republic had their moments of brilliance and came close to finding a goal but goalkeeper Murodullo Alikulov denied every attempt, before Umed Kuziev sealed their win with a fine strike in the 39th minute.
Huseyn Shodyev: Tajikistan Head Coach
“This was our last match in the tournament, and all the fans back home were waiting for our victory, and I’m glad we gave them such victory. I am satisfied with the team’s performance in all three games, but against Uzbekistan and Japan, the class between us was different. We have gotten so much more experience here, our results against Uzbekistan and Japan have improved compared to the past. Next for us will be preparing our team for the next championship, as well as seven of our players who will be participating in the AFC U20 Futsal Championship.”
Lee Sang-jin: Korea Republic Head Coach
“I complimented the players after our match against Japan, and maybe that was the reason our players didn’t prepare mentally well today, missing their shots and chances. It’s definitely a good experience, but it’s a harsh one because after this match, the players are supposed to have confidence but I’m worried my players will lose their confidence. We will now prepare for the next Qualifiers.”