Half-time pep talk does the trick for PFC Sogdiana
Dushanbe: PFC Sogdiana enjoyed a winning start to their AFC Cup™ debut by beating PFC Neftchi 2-0 on Friday, with head coach Ulugbek Bakaev’s half-time pep talk steering the Uzbek Super League club to victory.
A Luka Cermelj header in the first half added time broke the deadlock, with Marko Kolakovic heading home Sogdiana’s second goal to seal the points after Neftchi had threatened to force their way back into the tie.
Dushanbe: Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana kicked off their AFC Cup™ 2022 Group E campaign with a 2-0 win over PFC Neftchi of Kyrgyz Republic on Friday.
Luka Cermelj opened the scoring in first half added time, before they doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half through Marko Kolakovic, which proved enough to secure the points for the Uzbek Super League club.
Preview - Group E: PFC Sogdiana (UZB) v PFC Neftchi (KGZ)
Dushanbe: Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana and PFC Nefchi of Kyrgyz Republic may be making their AFC Cup™ debuts, but both head coaches are intent on making an explosive start to their respective Group E campaigns on Friday.
Sogdiana head coach Ulugbek Bakaev values the significance of playing at the continental level, and wants a good performance to showcase Uzbekistan football as they kick off the Central Zone action at the Republican Central Stadium.
Qualifiers Final Round Group F: Kyrgyz Republic 0-0 Tajikistan
Bishkek: Tajikistan qualified for their first ever AFC Asian Cup™, while Kyrgyz Republic secured a return to the continental Finals as the two sides played out a goalless draw in the Final Round Qualifiers Group F finale on Tuesday.
Results elsewhere on Tuesday meant both sides had done enough to qualify even before a ball was kicked at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium, but they nonetheless showed a fierce desire to earn bragging rights over their regional rivals.
While Kyrgyz Republic had the better of the chances, it was a night to cherish for Tajikistan who had been trying to reach Asia’s biggest national event since 1996, and finally succeeded as group winners in Bishkek.
With seven points apiece, it was goal difference that separated the Central Asian duo, with Tajikistan edging out their Kyrgyz rivals, just as they had done in Qatar 2022 qualifying.
Preview - Qualifiers Group F: Myanmar v Singapore; Kyrgyz Republic v Tajikistan
Bishkek: Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic will have the opportunity to secure AFC Asian Cup 2023™ places when Group F of the Final Round Qualifiers concludes at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Tuesday.
Both sitting on the maximum six points, the winners of the all-Central Asian clash will be guaranteed participants in next year’s Finals, while even the losers of Tuesday’s clash may still qualify as one of the five best runners-up.
While the top two will vie for supremacy in the group’s final clash, Matchday Three will also feature a battle for pride between Singapore and Myanmar, both of whom are already eliminated.
Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan promise to give it all in showdown
Bishkek: Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan will leave no stone unturned ahead of their AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round Matchday Three clash after both registered their second successive wins in Group F on Saturday.
Tajikistan defeated Singapore 1-0 to lead the standings on goal difference with Kyrgyz Republic beating Myanmar 2-0.
Qualifiers Final Round Group F: Myanmar 0-2 Kyrgyz Republic
Bishkek: Viktor Maier continued his love affair with AFC Asian Cup 2023™ – Final Round Qualifiers Group F as Kyrgyz Republic moved a step closer to the continental finals with a 2-0 win over Myanmar at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Saturday.
Maier scored twice in the first half to make it three goals in four days in Bishkek, with the win sending the group hosts to a maximum six points from two matches, although they remain behind Tajikistan on goal difference with one match to play.
The loss confirmed an extension of Myanmar’s 54-year AFC Asian Cup qualification drought, with Antoine Hey’s side tasting defeat for the second time in as many matches in the group.
Krestinin: Kyrgyz Republic character outweighed mistakes
Bishkek: Kyrgyz Republic boss Alexander Krestinin lauded his players for their come-from-behind AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round Group F 2-1 win over Singapore, declaring their victory at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium a show of character.
The Akshumkar were staring down the barrel of a shock defeat when Song Ui-young put the visitors ahead just before the hour mark, but Germany-based substitute Viktor Maier was the local hero, winning a penalty, converted by Valeriy Kichin, before steering home the decisive goal 10 minutes from time.
The result was three crucial points which gives Kyrgyz Republic a real chance of reaching the AFC Asian Cup for the second successive edition, and Krestinin said he was delighted to have emerged with a win against a Singapore team he rates highly.
Qualifiers Final Round Group F: Kyrgyz Republic 2-1 Singapore
Bishkek: Kyrgyz Republic came from behind to secure a crucial 2-1 win over Singapore in their opening AFC Asian Cup™ – Final Round Qualifiers Group F clash at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Wednesday.
A Song Ui-young goal early in the second half looked to have set the visitors up for a shock win, but Alexander Krestinin’s side squared the ledger with a Valeriy Kichin penalty, before substitute Viktor Maier found a winner with just under 10 minutes remaining.
The result takes Kyrgyz Republic to second on the Group F table after one of three Matchdays in Bishkek, with the group winners and five best runners-up across the six groups being held across Asia to reach the Continental Finals.
AFC Asian Cup™ 2023 Qualifiers – Ones to Watch: Groups D, E and F
Kuala Lumpur: With the final 11 places up for grabs at the AFC Asian Cup™ 2023 when the qualification campaign resumes on June 8, we shine the spotlight on some of the players to keep an eye out for as the sides battle it out for a place at the continental competition.
Having already looked at Groups A, B and C, we now turn the focus to Groups D, E and F – which will be hosted in Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur and Bishkek respectively – and highlight 12 stars who could be the difference for their respective countries.