Qualifiers - Group A: Tajikistan, Jordan in power show
Zarqa City: Tajikistan and Jordan flexed their muscles as they stayed on course for a final day showdown with emphatic wins in Group A of the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers at the Prince Mohammad International Stadium in Zarqa City on Wednesday.
Tajikistan defeated Kuwait 9-0 to take spot in the group ahead of Jordan, who defeated Sri Lanka 7-0 in the day's later match with all the goals coming in an amazing second half.
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Tajikistan 9-0 Kuwait
It was Tajikistan's second win, having defeated Sri Lanka 8-0 in their opening match and the Central Asians are on course to qualify for the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Finals, having emerged runners-up in Malaysia 2018.
For Kuwait, the defeat was their first in three matches but with only four points in the bag, the West Asians are in danger of missing out on the Finals.
Kuwait's Ahmad Alkandari had the unfortunate luck of starting the Tajikistan goal rush as the defender turned the ball into his own net in the 20th minute.
Tajikistan, however, would have to wait till the closing stages of the first half for their next goal but when it came, it sparked a rush which would see the Central Asians taking a 4-0 lead into the half-time break.
Midfielder Salimshoev Kabir scored Tajikistan's second and forward Khudoidodzoda Abdulfatohi added the third in the second minute of added time.
There was to be a fourth before the referee blew for half-time as Kabir scored again in the fourth minute of added time.
Any hope Kuwait had of an improbable comeback were dashed two minutes into the restart as striker Saidaliev Muhammadvoris found the back of the net for Tajikistan.
Tajikistan sat back for a bit after that but regained their goalscoring form in the 68th minute through substitute Azizov Sunatullo and Abdulfatohi got his second six minutes later to make it 7-0 for his side.
Karimov Mehrubon, who had come on just three minutes earlier, scored from the penalty spot in the 77th minute and midfielder Toirov Khusrav completed proceedings with his goal two minutes into added time.
Tajikistan will play Nepal on Friday while Kuwait will need to beat hosts Jordan to keep their hopes alive.
Jordan 7-0 Sri Lanka
Hosts Jordan kept pace with Tajikistan after registering a 7-0 win over Sri Lanka, with the West Asians finding their scoring boots in the second half.
It was Jordan's second successive 7-0 win, having defeated Nepal with a similar scoreline on Matchday One, and they will be oozing confidence going into their final two games.
Forward Abdel Qader Alalem (60th, 67th) and defender Saraj Muneer Alma'Aitah (76th, 86th) scored a brace each against Sri Lanka while Mohammad Khaled Obeidat (73rd) and substitutes Saif Moh'd Altaher (52nd) and Mo'ath Jehad Alelaimat (90+3) were the the other Jordan scorers.
Photos: Jordan Football Association
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