Qatar held by Turkmenistan, exit AFC U-23 Cup
Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Qatar squandered a two goal lead to be held to a 2-2 draw against Turkmenistan in Group A to miss out on advancing to the quarter-finals at the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022.
Debutants Turkmenistan looked to be heading out after Qatar’s Osamah Al Tairi scored in the 65th and 73rd minutes but they refused to give up as Begencmyrat Myradov replied with two goals of his own in the 75th and 82nd minutes.
With Islamic Republic of Iran only managing a 1-1 draw with Group A winners Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan finished second on four points and will face Group B’s top side Australia in the quarter-finals.
Having stunned Islamic Republic of Iran 2-1 on Matchday Two, a second win would mean knockout stage qualification for Turkmenistan while Qatar – on one point from two games – needed victory to keep their hopes alive.
Qatar, looking to prove themselves following their 6-0 defeat to Uzbekistan, started on the front foot with the West Asian side coming close in the eighth minute when Ahmed Al Ganehi found space inside the six-yard-box, cutting back to Mostafa Tarek, who set up Al Tairi, whose shot forced a fine save from Turkmenistan keeper Rasul Charyyev.
Charyyev came under pressure again moments later when he was forced into a save to deny Mekki Tombari’s effort off a corner before the Ahal FC shotshopper kept out Jassem Gaber’s header.
Turkmenistan came alive in the 11th minute on the counter attack when Meylis Diniyev burst into the Qatar box before finding an unmarked Teymur Charyyev, who flashed his effort above the bar.
Qatar’s patience was finally rewarded in the 65th minute with Tarek combining well with Jassem Gaber at the top of the box before floating the ball in for Al Tairi to nod home the opener.
Al Tairi then scored Qatar’s second goal of the evening when he produced a sublime piece of skill to volley home Jassim Al Mehairi’s cross from the left flank