Perfect Uzbekistan seal inaugural title
Hisor: Uzbekistan confirmed the capture of the CAFA U-23 Women’s Championship title, completing five wins from as many matches with a 3-0 victory over hosts Tajikistan on Thursday.
With much of the heavy lifting done during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over runners-up Islamic Republic or Iran, Bakhrom Norsafarov’s side finished the job with a minimum of fuss to secure the regional crown in convincing fashion.
Despite their final day defeat, Tajikistan finished third, with Kyrgyz Republic rounding out the top four of the six-team event.
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Tajikistan 0-3 Uzbekistan
Needing only a draw to seal the title, any fears of a final day hiccup were allayed before half-time as Uzbekistan scored three early goals to confirm a runaway title with a 3-0 win over Tajikistan in Hisor.
Dildora Nozimova settled any nerves with the opening goal in just the second minute, and the tournament looked as good as won when Umida Zoirova made it 2-0 just six minutes later.
Nilufar Kudratova put the destination of the trophy beyond doubt in the 32nd minute, adding a third goal as Uzbekistan took their final tally to 29 goals without reply in the five-game competition.
Uzbekistan’s win sealed their status as the region’s emerging women’s football power, with the nation seemingly poised to build strongly towards the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
IR Iran 7-0 Afghanistan
Uzbekistan’s win meant Islamic Republic of Iran’s title hopes were dashed before they took the field in the late kick-off at Dushanbe’s Central Republic Stadium, but a convincing 7-0 win over Afghanistan confirmed Maryam Azmoun’s side finished the tournament with heads held high.
Hajar Dabbaghi completed a fine individual campaign with a final day hat-trick for Iran, while Fatemeh Geraeli, Fatemeh Shaban, Zahra Masoumi and Fatemeh Amin Boraziani scored once each.
Iran finished the competition with 12 points from five matches, with Tuesday’s defeat to Uzbekistan the only blemish in an otherwise impressive term in Tajikistan.
Kyrgyz Republic 0-2 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan saved their best performance for last, shrugging off four successive defeats to end their campaign with a 2-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic.
Gozel Artykova opened the scoring in the 19th minute, before Mahym Rejepova’s goal three minutes from time sealed the win for the side coached by 2004 AFC Asian Cup player Kamil Mingaov.
Despite their final day defeat, Kyrgyz Republic’s earlier win over Afghanistan and draw with Tajikistan were good enough for a top four finish.
Roll of honour
Runners-up: IR Iran
MVP: Umida Zoirova (UZB)
Top scorer: Hajar Dabbaghi (IRN)
Fair Play: Afghanistan
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