Qualifiers - Group A: Tajikistan sizzle, Kuwait held by Nepal
Zarqa City: Tajikistan got their AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifying campaign off to a flying start while Kuwait suffered a blip after they were held by Nepal in Group A action at the Prince Mohammad International Stadium on Monday.
Sri Lanka 0-8 Tajikistan
Tajikistan, the 2018 finalists, dominated from the start and took a 5-0 lead at half-time before sealing an emphatic win with three more goals in the second half.
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The Central Asians took the lead in the 17th minute through Muhammadvoris Saidaliev and doubled their advantage when Khusrav Toirov scored their second five minutes later.
Sri Lanka could not prevent further agony as Tajikistan powered their way through with Abdulfatohi Khudoidodzoda scoring in the 26th minute and then added his second eight minutes later before Kabir Alimshoev's 40th minute goal put them 5-0 up at half-time.
Sri Lanka, who lost 2-0 to Kuwait last Saturday, struggled to find their feet in the second half as Khudoidodzoda scored two more goals, completing his hat-trick in the 60th minute and adding his fourth eight minutes later before Fakhriddin Akhtamov ended the goal fest with his 88th minute strike.
Tajikistan will face Kuwait on Wednesday, while Sri Lanka take on Jordan.
Kuwait 1-1 Nepal
Kuwait went into the tie as favourites but ended up needing a goal deep into stoppage time to salvage a point as Nepal proved to be difficult opponents.
Kuwait had opened their campaign with a 2-0 win over Sri Lanka while Nepal had suffered a 7-0 defeat to hosts Jordan but that, as the match wore on Monday, meant little.
Nepal defended much better than they did against Jordan and Kuwait just couldn't find a way through the South Asian side's defence.
After a tight 70-plus minutes, Nepal took the lead through Dipesh Rai in the 74th to set up a frantic finish.
Kuwait threw everything they had at Nepal and their efforts bore fruit in the fifth minute of added time when they were awarded a penalty.
Abdulwahab Alhindi converted to salvage a point and Kuwait will have to perform much better when they play Tajikistan on Wednesday. Nepal will play Tajikistan on Friday.
Photos: Jordan Football Association
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