Saudi Arabia U23 national team won their debut after beating Tajikistan U23 national team 5-0 in the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022 group D at Lokomotiv Stadium, Tashkent
Eager to shine, it took the newcomers only two minutes to put Saudi Arabia under pressure when Daler Yodgorov found space inside the six-yard-box before narrowly missing the right side of the post.
The early pressure seemed to be working in Tajikistan’s favour as Saudi Arabia were kept deep in their own half, but it was not long before the West Asians settled into the game with Turki Al Ammar and Asiri threatening.
Saudi Arabia had their first look at goal in the 13th minute when Ibrahim Mahnashi set up Hamed Al Ghamdi who, however, fired a tame effort straight into the arms of Tajikistan keeper Shohrukh Qirghizboev, who also calmly collected Mohammed Maran’s shot from distance two minutes later.
It was all Saudi Arabia from then on as Yahya fired his effort above the bar from distance in the 20th minute, with Al Harbi also finishing with a similar outcome 14 minutes later.
Saudi Arabia finally found a way through in the 41st minute when Al Ghamdi’s drilled effort was deflected into the path of Al Yami, who scored with a cheeky flick past a rooted Qirghizboev.
Saudi Arabia started the second half as they ended the first, with Al Ammar sending a well-timed cross for Yahya to strike the ball home in the 50th minute.
Despite trailing by two goals, Tajikistan soldiered on with Amadoni Kamolov missing from above the box in the 52 minute, while Naimdzhon Ibrogimzoda failed to find the target off a set-piece moments later.
Tajikistan suffered more woe in the 68th minute when Asiri scored from close range, pouncing on a rebound after Qirghizboev failed to save Al Ammar’s shot from inside the box before Al Harbi calmly slotted home Saudi Arabia’s fourth in the 86th minute.
Radif scored the fifth goal from the penalty spot after a foul on Al Ammar to complete the victory.
Credit Photo : AFC