- AFC Futsal C'ship: Tajikistan 1-6 Iraq01:14 | 06/05/2014
Iraq missed out on a place in the quarter-finals of the AFC Futsal Championship on goal difference despite a 6-1 win over Tajikistan on Sunday.
Mustafa Bachay and Hasan Ali each scored twice while Waleed Khalid and Karrar Al Thabeti were also on target at Ton Duc Thang University Stadium as Iraq recorded a second win in Group A, with Khurshed Makhmudov netting for Tajikistan in the first half.
But with tournament hosts Vietnam beating Kuwait 2-1, Iraq missed out due to an inferior goal difference when comparing the head-to-head records between themselves, Vietnam and Kuwait after all three teams finished level on six points.
“We won but it was not enough,” said despondent Iraq coach Haitham Abbas.
“The tournament has been a very good experience as we also played against Vietnam and Kuwait.
“This is a very young team and this will help them in the future.”
With both sides needing to win, Iraq opened the scoring inside the first minute in spectacular fashion as Bachay found the net from just inside the Tajikistan half.
And despite the Tajikistan goal coming under significant pressure, Iraq were made to pay for a host of missed chances as Makhmudov’s deflected 13th minute strike beat goalkeeper Ahmed Duraid.
But Iraq regained the lead less than two minutes later as Ali kept his cool despite the presence of onrushing Tajikistan goalkeeper Shukhrat Bibudov to net from the edge of the penalty area.
Iraq extended their lead four minutes into the second half as Tajikistan were caught short at the back and Bachay exchanged passes with Khalid to cut out goalkeeper Bibudov before walking the ball into the empty net.
And Khalid got his name on the scoresheet three minutes later as Tajikistan were again outnumbered in defence and goalkeeper Bibudov was left exposed before Ali added his second some 90 seconds later with an angled strike from close to the touchline.
Makhmudov thought he had pulled a goal back for Tajikistan with just under eighth minutes remaining, but he was adjudged to have backed into Idrees Ghadhban before turning the ball past Duraid with his back to goal.
And Iraq added a sixth with just over five minutes remaining as Al Thabeti danced down the left touchline after picking the ball up inside his own half before firing past Bibudov from the edge of the area.
The final whistle drew muted celebrations for Iraq before their fate was confirmed despite Kuwait’s late goal against Vietnam.
“We are disappointed with our performances at this tournament,” said Tajikistan coach Damir Kamaletdinov.
“We need to improve technically and physically in the future.”
According to AFC
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