AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round - MD1 Results & Reports
Kuala Lumpur: Matchday One of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round concluded on Wednesday with come from behind wins, upsets and missed opportunities.
With 11 places up for grabs - the six group winners and five best runners-up will advance - for the 24-team Continental showpiece, there was no shortage of exciting action in Kuwait City (Group A), Ulaanbaatar (Group B), Namangan (Group C), Kolkata (Group D), Kuala Lumpur (Group E) and Bishkek (Group F).
Matchday Two on Saturday promises to be equally exciting so do stay with the-AFC.com for all the latest news and results of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round.
Qualifiers Final Round Group F: Tajikistan 4-0 Myanmar
Bishkek: Tajikistan took a step towards a possible first ever AFC Asian Cup™ Finals appearance, beginning their Final Round Qualifiers campaign with a commanding 4-0 win against ten-man Myanmar at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Wednesday.
Shervoni Mabatshoev bagged a double as Petar Šegrt's side brushed their Southeast Asian opponents aside, with Manuchehr Dzhalilov and Ehson Panshanbe also getting on the scoresheet.
Tajikistan will qualify for the continental showpiece for the first time if they finish on top of Group F, or as one of the top five runners-up, with matches against Singapore and Kyrgyz Republic still to come.
Qualifiers Final Round Group D: Hong Kong 2-1 Afghanistan
Kolkata: Two goals in four first half minutes gave Hong Kong the perfect platform to take all three points as Jorn Andersen’s side made a winning start in Group D of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round in Kolkata with a 2-1 victory over Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Wong Wai put Hong Kong in front in the 23rd minute in hot conditions at the Salt Lake Stadium and Matt Orr doubled the advantage four minutes later as Andersen’s outfit overcame the absence of a number of senior players to start their campaign with a win.
Qualifiers Final Round Group E: Bahrain 2-0 Bangladesh
Kuala Lumpur: Bahrain were in total control and came out 2-0 winners against Bangladesh in the opening Group E game of the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Wednesday.
Bahrain never looked like missing out on the three points despite an opening flurry of chances that were kept at bay thanks to the Bangladeshi goalkeeper.
Qualifiers Final Round Group B: Palestine 1-0 Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar: A late Oday Dabbagh penalty saw Palestine secure a narrow 1-0 win over Mongolia in their opening AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round match at the MFF Stadium on Wednesday.
Following a largely uneventful first 45 minutes, Palestine sprung into life after the interval and missed several chances of note early in the second half before substitute Dabbagh ultimately wrapped up a hard-earned three points from the spot seven minutes from time.
The match marked both sides’ first competitive game of the year with Palestine last turning out at the FIFA Arab Cup™ at the end of 2021 and hosts Mongolia – who did play a pair of friendlies against Laos and Bangladesh in March – taking to the pitch a year and a day after stunning Kyrgyz Republic 1-0 in the previous round of qualifiers.