Intercontinental Cup: Tajikistan beats Syria 2-0, secures second win on the trot

Strikes from Komron Tursunov and Ilhomjon Barotov helped Tajikistan beat Syria 2-0 and move closer to the Intercontinental Cup final.

Tajikistan brightened its title-round chances by surprising a fancied Syria 2-0 in the Intercontinental Cup at the EKA Arena, Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Striker Komron Tursunov found the lead before Ilhomjon Barotov scored the insurance goal to help Tajikistan to its second win of the tournament.

The Tajiks had surprised host India in the opener and just need a draw against DPR Korea to reach the final.

Syria created few good openings in the first half, but was unlucky not to find the net as three of its attempts came off the framework. Tajikistan enjoyed a greater possession of the ball but could not make inroads into the Syria box.

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Despite play-maker Firas Al-Khatib starting on the bench, Syrian forwards Shadi Al-Hamwi and Mohammad Al-Marmour troubled the Tajik defence in the opening half. Hamwi saw his 13th-minute effort saved by Tajikistan goalkeeper Rustam Yatimov, while his 29th-minute header went off the upright.

In the 20th minute, Ward Alslamh narrowly missed the target while the next effort from Al-Marmour rebounded off the crosspiece.

Making the most of the reprieves in the opening half, Tajikistan came back strongly in the second half and went ahead in the very first minute of resumption. Striker Tursunov found the net with a spectacular long-ranger to beat Syrian 'keeper Ibrahim Alma.

Before Syria could regroup, the Tajiks doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Barotov tapped home after being set up by Panshanbe Ehsoni.

The result

Tajikistan 2 (Komron Tursunov 46', Ilhomjon Barotov 67') beat Syria 0