AFC – DUSHANBE, Islamic Republic of Iran made it two wins from two to stay on top of the table, while Afghanistan and hosts Tajikistan remain in striking distance after victories of their own as the 2019 CAFA U-16 Championship continued on Saturday.
Afghanistan overcame 38-degree heat to beat Turkmenistan 1-0, while Tajikistan produced a powerful second half to see off Kyrgyz Republic, before Iran earned a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan in the late match to remain in pole position after Matchday Two.
Each side in the CAFA U-16 Championship will play five 70-minute matches, with the winners to be crowned after the final Matchday on Thursday.
UZBEKISTAN 1-2 IR IRAN
Iran finished the match with 10 players but gained three crucial points with a 2-1 win in a match which also saw two Uzbekistan players sent off in the dying stages.
In a battle between two regional heavyweights, Iran assumed the early control when Khaled Rohani scored the opening goal in the 10th minute, but Uzbekistan were level just six minutes later thanks a successful penalty kick from captain Murodbek Khujamberdiev and the sides remained locked at 1-1 at the interval.
Iranian substitute Sajad Khaedmi scored what would prove to be the winner in 54th minute, but the match had a tense ending as Iran’s Sobhan Kamiavand and Uzbekistan’s Vazgen Pogsyan were both shown straight red cards and Uzbek forward Rustam Turdimurodov earned a second yellow in a chaotic stoppage time period.
Sunday is a rest day for the six teams in the competition – which serves as a warm-up for this year’s AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers – with action resuming on Monday.
Monday: Kyrgyz Republic v Uzbekistan (18.00); Tajikistan v Turkmenistan (18.00); IR Iran v Afghanistan (20.30)