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Home | Opinions | Social | Sport | Afghanistan makes history, shoots down Turkmenistan in Ashgabat 2017 Futsal tournament

Afghanistan makes history, shoots down Turkmenistan in Ashgabat 2017 Futsal tournament

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Afghanistan makes history, shoots down Turkmenistan in Ashgabat 2017 Futsal tournament

President Ghani congratulates National Futsal Team victory, hopes further success

 ASHGABAT: Turkmenistan paid the penalty for their wasteful finishing as they bowed out of the men’s Futsal tournament at the quarter-final stage in a dramatic game against Afghanistan, the surprise team of the tournament.
In front of more than nine thousands of Turkmen spectators at the Futsal gymnasium, the hosts lost a penalty shoot-out 6-5 after the match had finished 5-5 after extra time at the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on Saturday 23 September. 
Turkmen Futsal team missed four 10-metre penalties in normal and extra time, and in open play had 58 shots, 26 on target, compared with Afghanistan’s 28 and 18. Turkmenistan were trailing 5-4 in normal time but took the game into extra time when Turkmenistan’s Watan ATAYEW equalized with less than two minutes left.
They squandered more chances before Afghan goalkeeper Ali Reza QURBANI saved from Dayanc Garajayew of Turkmenistan in the shoot-out and then the keeper became his country’s hero by scoring the winning penalty.
“I told them ‘I’ll take it and we’ll win’,” said Qurbani. ”I wanted to score and to win.
“I always take penalties when we train every day. I’m one of the best penalty shooters on our team. And I showed I can save them as well.”
Meanwhile President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani congratulated the victory of Afghanistan National Futsal Team in the group stages against the great teams of China, Uzbekistan, UAE and Maldives and in quarterfinals against Turkmenistan, hoped further success in Ashgabat 2017 tournament.
Talking with The Kabul Times reporter in Ashgabat, Sami Jahesh, a reporter for a local TV in Kabul who is also in Ashgabat for coverage of the Asian Games, said he was surprised to see Afghan boys going ahead with victories in Futsal matches.
“I saw the Afghan athletes in different games. They are trying their bests to achieve success and bring joys for Afghans. But our Futsal team is unique and they have a bright future,” he added.
In the semi-finals Afghanistan will meet the Islamic Republic of Iran, who continued to impress with 10-4 win against Thailand.
The four-time AIMAG champions found themselves behind for the first time at Ashgabat 2017 when they trailed 1-0 and 2-1 but stormed back to win it comfortably. 
“Somehow it was good for us to find those difficulties at the beginning,” said Captain Ali Asghar Hassan Zadeh Navlighe of Iran. “It was good mental and physical training for our semi-final.”
“In our group we won all the matches in a very easy way,” he added. ”It was a good thing for us to come back from being 1-0 and 2-1 down. We showed that we can not only win, but also fight to come back.”
Iran have now scored 42 goals in the tournament and conceded just eight.
Japan found it hard to break down a stubborn Jordan team in their quarter-final meeting.
With the scores level 1-1 at half-time Japan coach Bruno Jose Garcia Formoso came into his own with a new strategy and they finished 4-1 winners.
“With the scoreboard at 1-1 they started to believe more,” he said. ”We didn’t feel comfortable.
“We talked about it at half-time and told the players to increase the intensity and the concentration. In the second half we dominated and it went to plan.”
Uzbekistan will be Japan’s surprise semi-final opponents after their unexpected 2-0 win against Vietnam.
A goal in each half from Davron Choriev and Farkhod Abdumavlyanov gave Uzbekistan victory as Vietnam failed to reproduce the form they showed in topping Group A.
Vietnam coach Miguel Rodrigo was annoyed about the defeat.
“We did all the pressing,” he said. “I told my players we were superior for the whole match.
“The other team just sat back waiting for a mistake. We were the only team trying to win it but we didn’t have any finishing.” 

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