AFC Cup: Afghanistan march into qualifying round
NEW DELHI (PAN): Afghanistan scored a 2-0 facile victory over Bhutan to book their place in the qualifying round of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup 2012 in the second match in Gurgaon near here on Friday.
Afghanistan had registered a thumping 3-0 win over Bhutan in the first pre-qualifying play-off match on Wednesday.
Afghanistan now joined the World Cupper DPR Korea, Sri Lanka and the hosts Nepal in Group-D, scheduled to be held from April 7 to 11.
It was an easy passage for the Afghanistan in the first match, but a resurgent Bhutan gave a decent account in the first half Friday at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium as the scoreline read 0-0 at breather.
Afghanistan after having some nervous moments in the first half were back to business as they went ahead in the match scoring in the 65th minute through midfielder Nadeem Wahid.
They wasted no time to send their opponents on the back foot as Israfeel Kohistani doubled the lead five minutes later.
Afghanistan almost got the third goal, but to their despair Hasmatullah Barekzai shot hit the cross-bar.
After the win, Afghanistan coach, Yosuf Kargar said, '' It was good performance from the boys in both the matches. We will need to perform better in the qualifying round.''
''We have played against Nepal and Sri Lanka earlier, so we do know their style of play. DPR Korea played in the last World Cup and is a very good team, we will need to continue in the same fashion," he added.
He thanked AFC and specially the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for inviting them to India and "organising the matches in such a better way."
Bhutan coach Hiroaki Matsuyama said: ''We played well in the first half, but it was lack of experience in the second half. Afghanistan is a very good side and I wish them all the best for the next round.''
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