Selangor, 20 March: The second international soccer encounter between Pakistan and Turkmenistan will be recorded in the fourth AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier tomorrow, Monday. The winners of the finals will qualify for the 16th Asian Cup at Australia 2015. The Pak-Turks clash will be held at at MBJP Stadium, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Muslims constitute 89% of the population of Turkmenistan, one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (Turkmen SSR). Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the southeast.
Following the fragmentation of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, Turkmenistan became an independent footballing nation in their own right. After gaining independence the challenge for the Turkmenistan football team was to attempt qualification for the Asian Cup and they achieved their ambition in 2004 after failures in 1996, 2000 and later on in 2007, 2011.
The first-ever Pakistan-Turkmensitan was recorded on 7 June 1993, when at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, Andrei Martynov-led Turks pocketted 4-0 win in Group A tie of sixth ECO Cup, a football competition for members of Economic Cooperation Organisation (formerly RCD Cup). RCD abbreviates Regional Corporation for Development and was an economic cooperation between Iran, Pakistan and Turkey from 1964 to 1979. A new organisation, ECO, was set up in 1985. Turks, coached by Bairam Durdiyev, later on reached the final and finished runners-up to Iran.
PFF fielded Pakstan A in the Tehran’s ECO Cup under Lal Muhammad Lalo who returned to KESC after a decade and managed five goals in PPFL 2008. Pakistan National team was then busy in 1994 USA World Cup Qualifiers against China, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan in same month (June 1993) at Irbid’s Aman Al Hassan Sports Complex and China’s Chengdu Sports Complex.
Turkmenistan were unlucky not to enter 15th Asian Cup final phase that ended on last Saturday with Japan edging out Australia 1-0 in final through
substitute Tadanari Lee’s goal at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium.
Under Yazguly Hojageldiyev, the youngest coach ever to take charge of Turkmenistan, now 34, missed the bus when they lost to North Korea in third AFC Challenge Cup final at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo on 27 February 2010. It was big disappointed for skipper and goal keeper Baýramnyýaz Berdiýew as Turks lost 4-5 on penalty shoot out after 1-1 drawn final. Same scoreline was recorded in the League between two teams.
The coaches of National football teams of Pakistan and Turkmenistan – Tariq Lutfi, Yazguly Hojageldiyev – have announced their squads for fourth AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers (Group-B) match on Monday, 21 March 2011 at MBJP Stadium, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Pakistan’s other matches in the event will be against India (23 March) and Chinese Taipei (25 March).
Following are two teams:
Goalkeepers: Amir Gul (NBP), Muhammad Omar (KESC)
Defenders: Manzoor Ahmed (WAPDA), Alamgir Khan (Police), Atif Bashir Qureshi (Barry Town, Wales), Samar Ishaq (KRL) CAP, Zeeshan Rehman (Muangthong United FC, Thailand),
Midfielders: Faisal Iqbal (NBP), Syed Arif Hussain (WAPDA), Muhammad Adil (KRL), Mahmood Khan (KRL), Kashif Mumtaz Siddiqui (Fresno Fuego, USA), Abdul Aziz (NBP) VC, Nasr Ullah Khan (PIA), Adnan Farooq Ahmed (Aboomoslem FC, Iran),
Strikers : Jadeed Khan Pathan (WAPDA), Rizwan Asif (KRL), Kalim Ullah (KRL), Imran Niazi (WAPDA), Arif Mehmood (WAPDA), Muhammad Qasim (KRL).
Coach : Tariq Lutfi
Goalkeepers: Nikita Gorbunov (Nebitchi), Rahmaberdy Alikhanov, Mamed Orazmukhammedov (both MTTU).
Defenders: Hema Komekov, Begli Annageldyev, David Sarkisov, Maksim Belyh (all MTTU), Bakhtiyar Hodzhaahmedov (Nebitchi), Nazar Choliev (Ashkhabad), Guvanch Rejepov (Talypov Sport), Gochkuli Gochkuliev (Bunyodkor, Uzbekistan).
Midfielders: Dovran Allanazarov, Perhat Podarov, Guvanch Hangeldyev, Abdulla Gurbannepesov, Mihail Mohamedov (all MTTU), Amir Gurbani (Altyn Asyr), Dovlet Bayramov (Merv), Begley Nurmuradov (Akhal), Serdar Geldyev, Rakhimberdi Baltayev (both Ashgabat).
Strikers: Berdy Shamuradov (Ashgabat), Didarklych Urazov (Nebitchi), Gahrymanberdy Chonkaev (Altyn Asyr), Azat Garajayev (MTTU).
Foreign-based players – goalkeeper Maksatmurad Shamuradov (Gohar, Iran), midfielders Vyacheslav Krendelev (Luch-Energia, Russia) Murad Khamrayev (Almalik, Uzbekistan), forwards Ruslan Mingazov (Skonto, Latvia) and Artur Gevorgyan (Nasaf, Uzbekistan)
Coach : Yazguly Hojageldiyev
Monday (21 March) fixture
Group-A at Youth Training Centre, Yangon
Myanmar v Philippines, Palestine v Bangladesh
Group B at MBPJ Stadium, Petaling Jaya
Turkmenistan v Pakistan, India v Chinese Taipei
Group C at National Stadium, Malé
Tajikistan v Kyrgyzstan, Maldives v Cambodia