Hosts Tajikistan defeated Afghanistan 1-0 at the Dushanbe Central Stadium on Thursday to emerge as the champions of the CAFA U16 Championship.
Abdulfatoh Khudoidodzoda scored the only goal of the game in the second half to record Tajikistan’s fourth win from five round-robin matches as they finished top of the group with 13 points in the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) youth championship.
Defending champions Uzbekistan, who defeated Turkmenistan 4-0 earlier in the day, could only settle for a runners-up spot after collecting 10 points from five matches. Elyor Yulbarsov and Tokhirbek Tukhtasinov scored early for the Uzbeks against the Turkmens before Shakhzod Akramov and Alisher Khayrullaev scored in the second half to make it a comfortable 4-0 victory.
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Meanwhile, 2018 U-15 champions IR Iran finished a disappointing third in the championship despite a 5-0 thumping of Kyrgyz Republic on the final day of the competition. Yadegar Rostami scored a brace while Sobhan Kamalvand, Akbar Rangbar and Khaled Rohani also wrote their names into the scoresheet to complete the 5-0 rout.
Muhammadvoris Saidaliev of Tajikistan was named the most valuable player of the tournament while Afghanistan’s Ahmad Zakaria Hussaini emerged as the top goalscorer. Kyrgyz Republic, meanwhile, took home the Fair Play Award.
(Photo courtesy: Central Asian Football Association)