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Qualifiers - Group A: Gritty Tajikistan through to Finals

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Zarqa City: Tajikistan showed tremendous fortitude as they fought back from two goals down to defeat Jordan 5-2 in Group A of the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers and seal a place in the Finals.

The 2018 runners-up went into the tie at the Prince Mohammad International Stadium only needing a draw but were stung as Jordan, who needed to win, shocked them by racing into a 2-0 lead after 13 minutes.

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Tajikistan 5-2 Jordan

Tajikistan had swept aside their three previous opponents, scoring 22 and conceding none, but faced a Jordan team that was equally determined to make the Finals.

The West Asians showed their intent as early as the 11th minute with Abdel Qader Alalem putting them ahead and it got better for Jordan two minutes later as Adham Ghanem Alred'i doubled their lead.

Tajikistan fought back and defender Rahmatzoda Rahmatshoh narrowed the deficit in the 24th minute but Jordan clung on to their slender advantage going into the break.

The West Asians managed to keep their opponents at bay for the opening period of the second half but Tajikistan's persistence was finally rewarded in the 60th minute as forward Khudoidodzoda Abdulfatohi pulled them level.

The equaliser broke Jordan's resistance and midfielder Toirov Khusrav put Tajikistan ahead for the first time in the match with his 69th minute effort and substitute Azizov Sunatullo gave them even more breathing space with his effort in the 77th minute.

Tajikistan were not done though as Saidaliev Muhammadvoris scored their fifth in the 82nd minute to cap a stirring comeback.

Sri Lanka 0-3 Nepal

Qualifiers - Group A: Sri Lanka vs Nepal

Nepal defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 in their final Group A tie earlier on Sunday.

The win gave Nepal their first win of the Qualifiers as they finished fourth in the standings ahead of bottom-placed Sri Lanka.

Mohit Gurung put Nepal ahead in the 36th minute and Anil Chaulagain doubled their lead in the 64th minute before Jaan Tamli sealed the 3-0 victory when he found the back of the net a minute before the final whistle.

Photos: Jordan Football Association

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