The Turkmenistan national team achieved their first victory in the ongoing Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) Women's Futsal Championship in Dushanbe, defeating Tajikistan 4-1 in the third round.
The tournament features five women's teams from Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, who will compete in a round-robin format to determine the champion. The CAFA Women's Futsal Championship is being held for the third time, but this is the first time that the Turkmenistan team is participating.
Both the Turkmenistan and Tajikistan teams entered the match without any points. In the first two matches, the Turkmenistan team lost to Kyrgyzstan 1-3 and Uzbekistan 2-4 in closely contested games. The Tajikistan team, who missed the opening round, lost to Kyrgyzstan 2-4.
The match against the Turkmenistan team started off dishearteningly for the hosts of the tournament. In the early stages of the game, Lale Khayypova's shot from the right side of the attack hit the far post, and our team captain Maria Charyeva, who was positioned there, easily put the ball into the net - 1-0.
This score lasted until the 37th minute. Intercepting the ball in their own half, our futsal players created a two-on-one situation against the goalkeeper, resulting in the second goal. In this episode, credit should be given to Maria Charyeva, who dribbled past the goalkeeper and left the ball for Jeren Mammedova to score into the empty net.
In the 38th minute, the Tajik athletes scored a goal through a precise shot by Rasulova, reducing the deficit.
After 3 seconds, our national team's coaches called a timeout. And just a few seconds after the opponent substituted the goalkeeper with a fifth outfield player, the Turkmen futsal players executed a well-coordinated combination, which was brilliantly finished with a shot into the far corner after dribbling past a defender by Lale Khayypova.
Trailing by two goals, the Tajikistan team's coaches decided not to put the goalkeeper back in the net, and they paid the price once again. Intercepting the ball near their own goal, Maria Charyeva immediately took a long-range shot towards the empty net from the edge of the penalty area. And it was successful. The ball hit the crossbar and went into the opponent's net. Scoring a brace, our team captain sealed the final score - 4-1.
In the other two matches of the tournament, the Iran national team defeated the Uzbekistan team 5-1 and crushed the representatives of Kyrgyzstan 11-0.
Thus, with two rounds remaining in the CAFA 2024 championship, Iran and Kyrgyzstan have 6 points each, but the latter has played one more match. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have 3 points each. The team of Tajikistan, which has no points yet, closes the standings.
The next match for the Turkmenistan futsal players will be against Iran on February 9.
The Turkmenistan women's national futsal team was preparing for the CAFA 2024 championship in Ashgabat under the guidance of experienced coach Yakup Ovezov and Kamil Mingazov, renowned former football player of "Kopetdag" and the Turkmenistan national team.
It is worth noting that last year, 47-year-old Yakup Ovezov led the "Denizchi" team of the International Seaport of Turkmenbashi to the Turkmenistan men's futsal championship for the 4th time. And Kamil Mingazov, who has been involved in coaching since 2006, laid the foundations for women's football and futsal in Turkmenistan.