2018 AFC U-19 Championship - Tajikistan gets past China by a solitary goal
In an evenly contested game, Solehov Sharafjon scorcher from 25 yards out turned out to be the difference as Tajikistan gained three crucial points from their AFC U-19 Championship Group D encounter.
(TJK - Solehov Sharafjon 77’).Group D: Tajikistan defeat China 2-1.
Tajikistan coach Mubin Erhasghev would have been happy with his wards' efforts after they stuck to their 4-1-4-1 formation for the entire duration of the game. Tajikistan managed four shots on target in a match where both teams found it hard to penetrate the defense of their opponents.
China changed into a 4-1-3-1-1 formation, with Chen Ao moving into a defensive midfield position, while forward Liu Chaoyang dropped back into an attacking midfield role. In a tense contest with little to choose between the teams, both employed long shots outside the penalty area to test their stoppers.
A fantastic cross from Karomatullo Saidov gave Tajikistan’s Daler Yodgorov an opportunity to head into the Chinese goal, but Peng Peng came up with a brilliant block to deny the striker.
China on the other end struck a 28th-minute free-kick from Xu Haoyong which forced a diving save low to his left by Tajik custodian Shohrukh Qirghizboev.
Tajik defender Nurmatov Khuseyn came up with another long-range effort which was collected well by the Chinese custodian which was followed by another save from Solehov's attempt in the 60th minute.
An outstanding block from Chinese defender Jiang Sheng denied Panshanbe Ehsoni in the 70th-minute effort.
Solehov Sharafjon' screamer in the 77th minute found the bottom right corner of a diving Peng to break the deadlock and give Tajikistan the lead.
Tajikistan picked up three yellow cards in the last seven minutes after desperate defending and time-wasting before they held their nerves to secure the victory.
Tajikistan may have secured their quarter-final berth after their crucial triumph against China. China would face last edition's runners-up Saudi Arabia and would be looking for a victory against the Arab nation to keep their qualification hopes alive.