AFC U23 Asian Cup: Turkmenistan stun Iran for historic win [VIDEO]

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AFC – BUNYODKOR, Turkmenistan came back from a goal down to register a historic 2-1 win over 10-man Islamic Republic of Iran in Group A of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 on Saturday. 

Turkmenistan’s Arzuvguly Sapargulyyev cancelled out Alireza Bavieh’s opener before Ahmet Teymur Charyyev scored the winner as the debutants bounced back from their opening day defeat against Uzbekistan to record their first ever victory in the tournament. 

Iran raced off the blocks from the referee’s first blow of the whistle and almost caught Turkmenistan napping in the first minute when Mohammad Ghorbani found space before setting up Yasin Salmani, whose shot from the top of the box was blocked.

Rasul Charyyev was called into action in the eighth minute when he comfortably saved Amirali Sadeghi’s left footed drive from inside the six-yard-box after Erfan Shahriari had done well in setting up the chance.

However, Turkmenistan’s resistance was broken seconds later when Erfan Shahriari did well to find an unmarked Bavieh to score the opener from inside the box.

Iran continued to dominate and almost scored their second goal in the 18th minute when Saman Fallah did well to evade his marker before setting-up Mohammad Ghorbani’s effort from distance.

Turkmenistan, however, were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty just before the half-hour mark after a foul on Samammet Hydyrow, with Sapargulyyev converting from the spot.

Iran tried to restore their one-goal advantage but were unable to trouble Charyyev with Yasin Salmani,  Amirali Sadeghi and Mehdi Hashemnejad all missing their efforts from inside the area.

Turkmenistan came out strongly in the second half, coming close in the 47th minute when Mirza Beknazarov sent Meylis Diniyev through but the forward’s shot from just above the box was saved by Jafari.

With Turkmenistan in the ascendancy, Iran were limited to counter-attacks but looked dangerous every time they went forward, coming close in the 53rd minute when an unmarked Arwin Sabet just failed to redirect Amirali Sadeghi’s cross from the right.

Iran, however, suffered a set-back in the 63rd minute when goalscorer Bavieh received his marching orders after a clumsy challenge on Turkmenistan captain Velmyrat Ballakov.

Turkmenistan took advantage of the numerical difference when they scored the winner in the 80th minute after Charyyev slotted home from close range.

Iran, who opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw with Qatar, will have to defeat Uzbekistan on Tuesday to stay in the competition while Turkmenistan will qualify for the quarter-finals with a win over Qatar.

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