2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Tajikistan thrash Pakistan on home turf
(Courtesy : AFC Media)
Tajikistan registered a two-goal lead inside the opening 13 minutes.
Amadoni Kamalov scored twice as Tajikistan completed a comfortable 6-1 win over Pakistan as Petar Segrt’s side remained unbeaten in Group G of the Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 on Tuesday.
Kamalov and Rustam Soirov gave Tajikistan a two-goal lead inside the opening 13 minutes and, while Rahis Nabi pulled one back for the hosts at Jinnah Sports Stadium, further strikes from Parvizchon Umarbayev and Ehson Panjshanbe gave Tajikistan an unassailable lead.
Kamalov then hit the fifth with the game entering the final quarter and substitute Shahrom Samiev added the sixth in the last minute.
Tajikistan made the perfect start in the ninth minute when Kamalov pounced to score the opener from close range after Umarbayev’s initial shot had beaten Yousuf Butt to his left, only to come back off the post and Kamalov scored with a first-time finish.
Four minutes later the visitors doubled their advantage after Soirov’s effort from 25 yards took the slightest deflection to beat Butt, leaving Stephen Constantine’s side with a significant challenge and more than three-quarters of the game remaining.
Nabi, however, pulled one back for the hosts in the 21st minute, firing into the top corner with an instinctive strike but by the end of the half Tajikistan had extended their lead.
Within five minutes of Nabi’s strike, Umarbayev restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion when he converted following Dzhalilov’s assist with a strike into the bottom corner.
And with only seconds left in the half, Panjshanbe was on target to claim the fourth, the Istiklol midfielder putting his first-time shot past Butt.
Dzhalilov was denied seven minutes after the restart by Butt, who made a timely block, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do in the 66th minute when Kamalov completed his brace, pulling his shot from the edge of the area into the corner.
Samiev scored from close range in the final minute to complete a comfortable win for Tajikistan, netting after Panjshanbe’s shot from outside the area had come back off the post.
The result sees Tajikistan move onto four points from their opening two games after the Central Asians shared a 1-1 draw with Jordan on Thursday while Pakistan remain without a point having earlier lost to Saudi Arabia.
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