2020 AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers: Syria record first win, but Tajikistan go top in Group C


Syria recorded their first win of the tournament as they overcame Maldives 3-2 in the 2020 AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers at the Republican Central Stadium in Dushanbe on Friday.

Syria were held to a 1-1 draw by Lebanon in their opening match on Wednesday, but it was Maldives, who were thrashed 9-0 by hosts Tajikistan in their first match, who took the lead through Savee Ibrahim in the 19th minute.

But, Ibrahim turned villain from hero by scoring an own goal in the 25th minute to make it 1-1. And it was Syria who were 2-1 up at half time as Mohammad Alawad Almalhem found the back of the net in the 33rd minute.

But, Maldives, a different unit from the one that got pummelled by the Tajiks in the opener, drew level as captain Hassan Nazeem netted in the 55th minute. But, it was the Assyrians who took all three points as Amar Ramadan scored in the 62nd minute to hand his side a 3-2 win.

Meanwhile, in the other match of Group C, hosts Tajikistan pipped Lebanon 1-0 to claim the pole position in the group.

After scoring a hattrick in their 9-0 win against Maldives, Tajikistan’s Shahrom Samiyev scored his fourth goal of the qualification campaign to help the hosts claim all six points from their opening two matches.

Syria are second with four points while Lebanon are third with one point. Lebanon will face Maldives on the final matchday while Tajikistan and Syria go head to head.

Only the group winner will earn a direct qualification for next year’s AFC U19 Championship to be held in Uzbekistan.

Four best runners-up from 11 groups will also make it to the finals, but the Group C runners-up will have an anxious wait of more than month to know if they made it as the matches in the other groups are only set to be held next month.

(Photo courtesy: Tajikistan Football Federation via The-AFC.com)