Tajikistan powers their way past the Philippines to reach Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2018 Final
After 102 minutes of action-packed football, Tajikistan avenged their AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers defeat at the hands of the Philippines to reach the final of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2018 final after scoring two past the Azkals.
The intent to win was immediately visible on the seventh minute of the match when Fatxullo Fatxulloev tried from close-range after Ian Clarino deflected it towards his path but Louie Casas was there to block the shot.
On the 10th minute of the match, the Tajiks didn't show any signs of slowing down as Muxammadzoni Raximov tried to power in a volley but the Filipino shot-stopper parried it out. The Philippines tried to sneak in one on the counter as Jovin Bedic fed a through ball for Misagh Bahadoran but the skipper's shot went flying above the crossbar.
Komron Tursonov tried to catch Casas off-guard with a first-time volley but it flew way past the keeper. Casas was then called to action again on the 30th minute as Axtam Nazarov fired from close range but he was there to punch it out.
Casas and the Azkals then reached their breaking point on the 33rd minute when a cross was met by a header from Raximov which was then an assist to Tursonov who didn't hesitate to volley it into the back of the net to score the opening goal.
The Philippines tried to equalise on the 34th minute through Kenshiro Daniels header but it went wide. A minute after, Hikaru Minigeshi made a lovely run past the defenders but wasn't able to pull the trigger.
Coming into the second half, the Azkals found their composure a bit as they were able to pass the ball around but failed to finish their efforts. Despite the quality of the pitch and the pressure from the Filipinos, Tajikistan kept the ball well by passing the ball around.
On the 70th minute, the Philippines went into a little bit of scare as Casas clashed with Raximov that led to the Filipino shot-stopper to receive some medical attention. After the incident, nothing much changed as the Tajiks kept their attack coming.
Come the 83rd minute of the match, Nazarov forced Casas into another save from a free kick. The Azkals then saw a sign of life on the 85th minute as Bedic lobbed the ball for Jarvey Gayoso who was introduced on the 65th minute for Daniels but the youngster failed to keep his shot on target.
Tajikistan then eliminated any chance of a comeback from the Philippines as Nazarov curled a lovely ball past Casas on the 97th minute to complete their revenge against the ones who eliminated them from contention for a chance to play in the AFC Asian Cup 2019.