Qualifiers - Group C: Tajikistan, Syria set up final day showdown
Dushanbe: Tajikistan will only need a draw in their final qualifying match to seal their place in the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Finals after defeating Lebanon 1-0 in a hard-fought Group C tie at the Republican Central Stadium on Friday.
The hosts, however, will have to brace themselves for another tough encounter as they will face Syria, who defeated Maldives 3-2 earlier on Friday, in their final qualifying tie on Sunday.
Syria, on four points after having played to a 1-1 draw in their opener against Lebanon on Wednesday, will have to win to seal top spot and confirm their place in the 2020 Finals.
Qualifiers - Group C: Tajikistan impress, Syria, Lebanon share points
Dushanbe: Tajikistan flexed their muscles to defeat Maldives 9-0 in their opening AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualifiers Group C match in front of their fans at the Republican Central Stadium on Wednesday.
Syria and Lebanon, meanwhile, played to a 1-1 draw in Wednesday's other match.
Group C is the first of 11 to have kicked off the qualifying campaign where the group winners and four best runners-up will join hosts Uzbekistan in the 2020 Finals. The remaining groups will be contested in November.
Uzbekistan, Bahrain recommended as hosts for 2020 AFC U-19 & U-16 Championships
Kuala Lumpur: Uzbekistan and Bahrain are recommended as the hosts of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 and U-16 Championships – the stages for the Asian football stars of the future – respectively in 2020.
At the AFC Competitions Committee’s first meeting of the 2019-2023 cycle chaired by Dr. Tran Quoc Tuan, they selected Uzbekistan and Bahrain as they were considered to have the most appropriate facilities for age-group football.
The opportunity to assist Uzbekistan’s football development – combined with the availability of the necessary facilities – was considered important while Bahrain, having bid to host both events, achieved the highest evaluation points on the inspection visit for the U-16 event.
The U-19 tournament will be played between October 14 and 31, 2020 while the U-16 Championship will take place between September 16 and October 3, 2020.
The AFC Solidarity Cup, which provides more competitive matches for the bottom 10 ranked countries (the six eliminated in the first round of the Joint Asian Qualifiers and the bottom four teams in the second round) will be played between November 30, 2020 and December 13, 2020 – once the final round of qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 are concluded.
The Committee also agreed with a recommendation that in 2020, the AFC Champions League Round of 16 matches in the West Zone should be moved from May 25/26 and June 15/16 to May 18/19 and May 25/26, 2020.
Dushanbe: A late goal from Mahdi Hashemnezhad Rahimabadi gave Islamic Republic of Iran the point they needed to win the 2019 CAFA U-19 Championship title after they earned a 1-1 draw against 10-man Tajikistan at Dushanbe Central Stadium on Thursday.
Needing only to avoid defeat to hold off the hosts in the final match of the round-robin competition, Iran fell behind to a first-half goal from promising Tajikistan striker Rustam Soirov but hit back with Rahimabadi’s 80th-minute leveller to become the Central Asian champions.
Earlier in the day, Uzbekistan beat Turkmenistan 2-0 to finish third in the competition, which serves as preparation for the forthcoming 2020 AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers.