Tag: Tajikistan

Tajikistan makes history in Futsal.

Bangkok: Fayzali Sardorov’s extra-time winner saw Tajikistan edge out Afghanistan 2-1 in Wednesday’s AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Thailand 2024 quarter-final to secure a place in the semi-finals for the first time and qualification for a maiden FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Afghanistan, meanwhile, will need to wait for the outcome of the day’s last quarter-final tie between Uzbekistan and Vietnam to learn whether their campaign has concluded, or they will return to action in Friday’s play-off semi-finals.

image content

Tajikistan head coach Pairav Vakhidov was proud of his players for creating history. 

“It was a very tough match, and the players were under pressure to get the result. We told the players to show their game and not to panic and, fortunately, luck was on our side,” said Vakhidov.

“Two years ago, at the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022 we reached the quarter-finals but we lost, this time we won and qualified for our first-ever FIFA Futsal World Cup. It’s an unbelievable emotion what I’m feeling right now, I can’t even put it into words.”

image content

Afghanistan tactician Majid Mortezaei applauded his players for matching Tajikistan in the pulsating encounter.

“Both teams played very well, and I want to say thank you to all my players, they played very well,” said Mortezaei.

“We have played with Tajikistan many times before, so we knew what to expect. The game was very difficult for us, and I would say the difference was their defence was very good.  Even after they had a player sent off, they kept us out and their goalkeeper played fantastic and made some great saves right at the end.”

image content

Tajikistan made a strong start and Reza Jafari was called into action early by Nekruz Alimakhmadov, before Dilshod Salomov drew an even better save from the Afghanistan custodian on eight minutes.

Salomov forced Jafari into another smart save on 16 minutes, but Afghanistan were stung into action and began to turn the tide as captain Akbar Kazemi hit the post after Firuz Bekmurodov was unable to hold Mehran Gholami’s initial effort.

But it was Tajikistan who opened the scoring against the run of play as Komron Aliev’s run down the left resulted in a cross that was turned into his own net by Reza Hossein Poor two minutes before the break.

image content

The scores were level just three mins after the restart, though, as Farzad Mahmoodi ran onto a lay-off from Kazemi and drilled his low shot past Bekmurodov.

Afghanistan were then close to taking the lead themselves on the 26th minute when a long ball up court found Kazemi’s head only to see the ball crash against the post.

With under four minutes left on the clock there was more drama to come as Tajikistan went down to four men following Idris Yorov’s second yellow card of the match.

image content

But even with a man advantage for the two minute-penalty period, no further goals were forthcoming, and the tie went to extra-time.

After a goalless first period, Tajikistan’s moment of history came in the second minute of the second period after a nerveless 10-metre penalty from Sardorov etched his name into his country’s record books.

Afghanistan book historic berth

MON, 22 APRIL, 2024

Bangkok: Afghanistan made history by reaching the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Thailand 2024 knockout stage in their debut after defeating Bahrain 3-2 at Bangkok Arena on Monday. 

With Group D winners Iran beating Kuwait 4-0 at Hua Mark Indoor Stadium, Afghanistan leapfrogged the West Asians on goal difference to take second place in the group.

Afghanistan will now face Group C winners Tajikistan in the quarter-finals for a place at the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Uzbekistan.

Coming into the tie Afghanistan knew that a win was the first priority in keeping their qualification hopes alive, but it was Bahrain who began the stronger with Saleh Sanjar stinging the fingertips of goalkeeper Javad Safari two minutes in.

The Central Asians responded in the fifth minute, however, and Mohamed Al Sandi made Safari’s opposite number, Amin Mohamed, pull off a flying save to tip over.

And in their next attack Afghanistan had the lead they craved. Jassam Saleh found Ali Al Araibi on the edge of the area, and he drilled his shot home.

image content

On the 10th minute mark Afghanistan went inches from doubling their lead when Saleh saw his low fizzer strike the foot of the post.

A well-worked set-piece saw Bahrain draw level with five minutes of the half remaining. Maysam Faizi’s ran over the ball and into the area and wasn’t picked up by the Afghanistan defence allowing Farzad Mahmoodi to find his teammate for an easy finish.

The turnaround was completed by Bahrain on the 17th minute as Mohammad Moradi was brought down in the area by Jafari and Sanjar confidently dispatched the resulting spot-kick.

image content

With 20 seconds of the half remaining Afghanistan could have drawn level only for Reza Hossein Poor’s blistering effort to cannon back off the intersection of crossbar and post.

Needing to restore parity as quickly as possible, Afghanistan came out with purpose and thought they had won a penalty four minutes into the second half only to see the video check determine the handball by Al Sandi was accidental.

But on the 25-minute mark, Afghanistan found their own leveller as Akbar Kazemi poked home at the second attempt after Mohamed’s initial save following Mehran Gholami’s corner-kick.

image content

And with six minutes remaining the lead was one more back in the hands of Majid Mortezaei’s men as Kazemi’s persisted down the right flank ended with a ball into the on-rushing Gholami who fired home.

Bahrain had a chance in the final minute, but Al Araibi scuffed his shot wide from close range and saw Afghanistan hold onto the lead and secure their place in AFC Futsal Asian Cup history.

The performance of CAFA Futsal teams has been perfect so far as Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan , and Uzbekistan, the 5 CAFA teams qualified to the finals of AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Thailand 2024 knockout stages.

It is unfortunate that two CAFA teams will be knocked out in the quarter finals as Iran will be meeting Kyrgyzstan who have defeated the defending champions, Japan, while Afghanistan will meet Tajikistan.

History making Tajikistan advance past UAE


Al Rayyan: Tajikistan advanced to the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ quarter-finals after a hard-fought 5-3 penalty shootout win over United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

The match was forced into an additional 30 minutes after UAE’s Khalifa Al Hammadi scored in the fifth minute of second half added time to cancel out Vahdat Hanonov’s opener at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

Goalkeeper Rustam Yatimov was Tajikistan’s hero, judging correctly to deny Caio Canedo’s penalty when the shootout was tied 1-1 as the Central Asian side extended their debut campaign to the quarter-finals, with either Iraq or Jordan their next opponents. 

image content

Both teams showed plenty of attacking intent right from the onset with UAE having the first sights at goal. The chance came within the opening minute as Fabio Lima’s free-kick was palmed away by Tajik goalkeeper Yatimov, followed by striker Canedo’s attempt from outside the box that sailed too high five minutes later.

However, it was Tajikistan who opened the scoring after defender Zoir Dzhuraboev’s inch perfect cross was headed into the bottom left corner of the UAE goal by Hanonov just as the match hit the half-hour mark.

image content

UAE almost responded immediately with Zayed Sultan’s right-footed attempt from the centre of the Tajikistan box forcing Yatimov into making a diving save.

The Emiratis spent the rest of the first half continuing to make forays into the Tajik penalty area, with charges from the likes of Canedo, Lima and Yahya Al Ghassani, but failed to find a way through. 

image content

The second half began in similar fashion with both teams maintaining their offensive mindset but it was once again the tournament debutants who came close to doubling their lead with Ehson Panjshabe and Alisher Dzhalilov forcing saves out of UAE captain Khalid Eisa. 

Tajikistan should have gone further ahead in the 60th minute when Parvizdzhon Umarbayev’s through ball found Dzhalilov just outside the box, but the Istiklol midfielder shot straight at Eisa.

image content

Dzhalilov had another great chance 10 minutes later when Shahrom Samiev sped down the right flank before floating a beautiful cross but the number 10 wasted the golden opportunity by sending the ball wide.

image content

The missed chances cost Tajikistan as UAE equalised right at the end, with defender Al Hammadi rising high to nod home Ali Saleh’s free-kick in the fifth minute of added time, taking the game to an additional 30 minutes. 

image content

Neither side looked eager to take risks in added time with Yatimov producing the only save of the shootout to ensure Tajikistan’s dream campaign continued.

Thrilling encounters in AFC Asian Cup Round 16

There were some major surprise results in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023. Iraq defeated the favorites Japan, while Jordan was on the brink of victory against the mighty Koreans, but finally settled for a 2-2 draw.

Only Iran, Qatar, and Iraq managed to win all the group matches. Japan and Korea Rep were placed as runners-up in their respective groups. As expected Australia and Uzbekistan qualified from their groups while China was stunned and eliminated from Group A.

There were quite a few surprises too in this edition. Tajikistan and Palestine were both qualified for the first time in their history. Indonesia pipped Vietnam to the round 16 qualifiers in another major surprise.

Bahrain topped its group which had Korea Rep, Jordan, and Malaysia. Despite the defeat in the opening match against the Koreans, Bahrain recovered well by winning its remaining matches. Jordan placed third in the group and qualified as one of the best third-rank teams.

Team Melli, had a solitary hiccup against Hong Kong, nevertheless, it won all three matches without much effort. It will be meeting Syria in the Round of 16. Waiting for Team Melli after it defeats Syria is either Japan or Bahrain in what could be an early final.

There were a lot of lessons to be learned from the last time Iran and Japan met in the last edition of the AFC Asian Cup in Al Ain. In that semi-final, Japan destroyed Team Melli in style mainly due to the Iranian player’s pressing the self-destruct and lack of discipline.

It would be a good move for Ghalenoei to show his players the full match from 2019 and pinpoint where the Team Melli players possibly went wrong. Saying that, Bahrain could very well spring another surprise by beating Japan in this round. Bahrain has always been a difficult and stubborn opponent for the Persians,


Sunday, January 28

Australia vs Indonesia (Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha 11.30am)
Tajikistan vs United Arab Emirates (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan)

Monday, January 29

Iraq vs Jordan (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan)
Qatar vs Palestine (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor)

Tuesday, January 30

Uzbekistan vs Thailand (Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah)
Saudi Arabia vs South Korea (Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan)

Wednesday, January 31

Bahrain vs Japan (Al Thumama Stadium, Doha)
Iran vs Syria (Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha)

The Tajik heroes make history in Doha

Doha: Head coach Petar Segrt applauded the mental resilience of his players after Tajikistan came from behind to defeat Lebanon 2-1 in their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ Group A tie on Monday.

Victory meant Tajikistan sealed a place in the knockout stage in their debut campaign, with a Round of 16 clash against the Group C runners-up on Sunday as their reward. 

#AsianCup2023 | Group A : Tajikistan 2 - 1 Lebanon

The 56-year-old may have lost his spectacles amidst the joyous scenes after the final whistle but Segrt could see clearly where the match was won against Lebanon.

“It was a fantastic game, a tough game,” said the Croatian. “Don’t forget, two times we got our goals canceled, it was the right decision but mentally, it can be draining so I’m very proud of my players, they showed great fight.

“Lebanon played well but I thought we would get chances because we could see them tiring, so we just needed to keep attacking. This kind of game, you play for your life. 

“I believe in these boys, they have great characters. Tajikistan people are fighters and they will fight until the end.

image content

“Just this morning I spoke to Joachim Low (former Germany manager) and told him this is a wonderful tournament and you can see that in this game.

“For us, this is a big dream to qualify for this tournament. Then the dream became to qualify for the knockout stage. Now we dream again.”

Bassel Jradi opened the scoring for Lebanon just after half-time but Kassem El Zein’s red card turned the tide in Tajikistan’s favour with Parvizdzhon Umarbaev netting the equaliser in the 80th minute before Nuriddin Khamrokulov headed in the winner two minutes into stoppage time.

A disappointed Lebanon head coach Miodrag Radulovic admitted the red card was the turning point in a match that was seemingly proceeding the way he wanted.

image content

“It’s very difficult to talk after this game because we had everything in our hands,” said Radulovic. “We played a good game, perfect until 56 minutes then after one lapse of concentration, we got a red card. 

“In such a tough game, it’s difficult to play so long with one man less. But I’m proud of my team’s performance and fight. Even with one man less, we still created chances to score. This team has a great future.”

Defeat meant Lebanon’s wait for a knockout stage appearance continues but for Tajikistan, the dream lives on. 

CAFA Championship to be held in Jume 2023 and Team Melli will be there too.

FFIRI website has officially confirmed Team Melli’s participation in the CAFA Championship to be held in June 2023.

The 2023 CAFA Championship will be the 1st edition of the CAFA Championship, the biennial international men’s football championship of Central Asia organized by the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA). The event will be held in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan from 9 June to 21 June. Iran, Kyrgyzstan (Host), Russia (invitee), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (Host) will form the two-group championship.

This championship which was been on and off several times was first supposed to be played in Uzbekistan in 2018, however, it was never played for various reasons. Even this current one was under doubt until the announcement by FFIRI. Iran is in the first pot of the draw along with Russia according to FIFA Ranking. It is expected that another invitee team will join the championship. This will be a good test for Amir Ghalnoei in preparation for the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

Russia negotiating with UEFA and FIFA on their future.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) is negotiating with FIFA and UEFA to retain eligibility to participate in competitions with friendlies already lined up.

The Russian team will play a friendly match against Iran in Tehran on March 23 and are also due to face Iraq on March 26 in the city of Saint Petersburg.

They will also be participating in the Championship of the Central Asian Football Association, which will involve Tajikistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan, and is due to be held from June 9 to 21 in Bishkek and Tashkent.

FIFA and UEFA were both on the list of sports associations that banned the Russians for the invasion of Ukraine on February 21 2022.

The ban was imposed exactly one week later on February 28.

The Russian national team was due to face Poland in a qualifier for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, with the winner going on to face Sweden for a spot in the finals, but the ban took effect before the match and Poland got a pass through the round.

Russia were disqualified from the 2022 World Cup when they were two wins away from claiming a spot ©Getty Images
Russia were disqualified from the 2022 World Cup when they were two wins away from claiming a spot ©Getty Images


Since the ban, the Russian national football team have participated in three friendlies, defeating Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in Bishkek and drawing with Tajikistan in Dushanbe and Uzbekistan in Tashkent, with both matches ending goalless.

Denis Rogachev, the RFU deputy secretary general, spoke on the current state of the national team in a meeting of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports.

“The activity of the national team is not frozen,” Rogachev said, as reported by Russia’s official state news agency TASS.

“It has suffered greatly, we do not experience a flow of people who want to play with us. This is a very difficult negotiation process, negotiations are underway to participate in the Championship of the Central Asian Football Association in June. We have retained corporate rights to participate in FIFA and UEFA, but we are negotiating with colleagues about a phased return to competition.”

“I can’t add anything new. ”

The RFU had an appeal to return to FIFA and UEFA rejected by the CAS in May 2022 ©Getty Images
The RFU had an appeal to return to FIFA and UEFA rejected by the CAS in May 2022 ©Getty Images

“A working group has been created, a negotiation process is underway with UEFA and FIFA on a phased return. “A FIFA Congress was held in Africa, and there will be elections of the UEFA President, which we will attend.

“The process of restoring our rights as a priority option provides for keeping us in European football, but all scenarios are being considered.” The RFU attempted to appeal to overturn the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but failed to meet the deadline for the filing of the complaint. The CAS already rejected the return of Russia to tournaments in May 2022 after a majority vote by members on the matter.

The 2018 World Cup hosts will be looking to return to international competitions, as well as competitions for their club teams such as the UEFA Champions League.

Worasak: Thailand not afraid of defending champions

Wednesday  o5 October 2022
Kuwait City:
Match winner Worasak Srirangpirot insists Thailand have no fear of semi-final opponents Iran following their 3-2 win against Tajikistan in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Kuwait 2022 quarter-finals on Tuesday.
With 42 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 2-2, Thailand needed a last-gasp intervention from Worasak to secure a thrilling victory.
Worasak, who started the game from the bench, scored his third goal of the tournament after collecting a pass from Sarawut Phalaphruek at the edge of the area, beating Tajikistan captain Dilshod Salomov on the turn before squeezing his shot past keeper Firuz Bozmamadov.
“Congratulations to Tajikistan for playing a good game,” said Worasak, who was named Player of the Match. “They are a strong and skillful team. I knew from the start that we would be tested. We started the game really slow but we improved as the match progressed.”

“It was a tight contest with the score at 2-2, however, the players have a good understanding. We are always encouraging each other. In the end, we scored the winner and we’re in the semi-finals.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Thailand fans, they motivated us throughout the match and since our first game here in Kuwait.”

Thailand will now face the toughest of opponents in Iran but Worasak said the players are not worried about facing the 12-time champions.
“Iran are only slightly better than us. We faced Iran in a friendly before the tournament. In fact, we almost beat them. Iran were leading by two goals but we struck twice to level the score. If it was not for a last-minute goal, we would have beaten them.”
“We are confident of beating them and Iran should feel the pressure, not us.”

AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022™ official draw today

Kuala Lumpur
The official draw ceremony of the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022™ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday (May 26) at 3 pm (GMT+8) will set the stage for the return of top-flight Continental futsal after a four-year hiatus caused by the pandemic.
After an intensive round of qualifying battles, the draw will reveal the opponents of Asia’s 16 teams who will compete for futsal’s grandest prize at the showpiece, staged in West Asia for the first time after 10 years, from September 27 to October 8, 2022.
The contenders will be divided into four groups of four teams, with host Kuwait placed as the top-seeded Member Association (MA) while the ranking of the AFC Futsal Championship Chinese Taipei 2018™ will determine the seeding of the remaining challengers.
Joining Kuwait in Pot 1 are the defending champions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, also the most successful side in the competition with 12 titles, Japan, runners-up in 2018, and Uzbekistan, who finished second on four occasions.
Iraq, Lebanon, Vietnam, and Bahrain will occupy Pot 2 followed by Thailand, who are the Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan, and the Korea Republic in Pot 3.
Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, and debutants Oman will have their names drawn from Pot 4.
As futsal makes a safe return to the Continent, the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022™ draw ceremony is poised to unveil thrilling encounters in the Group Stage where the top two sides in each group advance to the next stage.
Futsal continues to grow at a rapid pace in Asia and this was evident when a record five teams – IR Iran, Japan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam – qualified for the knockout stage of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 for the first time.
Click here to watch the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022™ draw live.

Iran confirms its place in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022™

Bishkek: Defending Champion Iran and Uzbekistan have confirmed their places in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Kuwait 2022™ after securing a top-two finish in their respective groups of the Central and South Zone Qualifiers on Monday.
Iran beat Turkmenistan 3-0 to stay top of the leaderboard in Group A with six points. The Kyrgyz Republic, meanwhile, revived its qualification hopes after beating the Maldives.

Uzbekistan were the first team from the region to qualify for the Finals after their 5-1 win over Afghanistan. The White Wolves are assured of a top two finish regardless of the result in the final match on Tuesday. One point is all Tajikistan needs to secure a second-place finish in Group B.
Group A
Turkmenistan 0-3 Iran
Turkmenistan were Iran’s toughest challenge yet, but that didn’t stop the defending champions from showing their prowess with Hossein Tayebi breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute before Saeid Ahmadabbasi doubled their advantage moments before the halftime break.
Turkmenistan were still very much in the game as they challenged the champions, but Shiri Bayradurdyyev’s own goal in the 38th minute ended their hopes of a comeback.

Vahid Shamsaei used his second-string players in most of the periods while inducting one or more first-choice players as support.
Iran will take on the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday, while Turkmenistan faces a must-win match against the Maldives.