Tajikistan’s football team produced a commanding performance in their AFC Challenge Cup group A clash to steamroll Myanmar 3-0 in an encounter played out at the CR & FC grounds that was largely one sided.
Goals came from midfielder Rabimov Ibragim and forwards Khakimov Numondzhon and Rabiev Yusuf.
During the early stages of the match Myanmar enjoyed the bulk of possession and showed signs of dominating Tajikistan’s defence. However in the 33rd minute, against the run of play, Ibragim whipped a powerful long range free kick straight into the top corner of the net.
Tajikistan’s Khakimov Numondzhon bangs in the second goal. Pic by Ranjith Perera
This stunned Myanmar into submission and from then on they failed to regain control of the match. Throughout the rest of the first half and the entire second half Tajikistan toyed with the Myanmar defence, threatening to score each time they were in their opponents’ half.
They finally succeeded 7 minutes after the halftime whistle, producing a string of fluent passes that led to a shot which deflected off the crossbar before eventually being slotted in by Numondzhon.
By the time Yusuf slid in Tajikistan’s third goal in the 88th minute, a gift resulting from a clumsily parried ball from goalkeeper Aung Aung oo, victory seemed a forgone conclusion.
Resistance from Myanmar’s players gradually began to relent and they should consider themselves lucky not to have lost by a greater margin thanks to Saidov Kamil failing to put his foot through a well flighted cross into the box.
Referee: Nawaf Abdulla Ghayyath Shukralla of Bahrain.