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"Ahal" opens a new page of Turkmen football. The victory and the goal-a masterpiece left Saudi Al-Faiha perplexed

20.09.2023 | 16:44 |
 "Ahal" opens a new page of Turkmen football. The victory and the goal-a masterpiece left Saudi Al-Faiha perplexed

.. The day before the match between Turkmen "Ahal" and Saudi "Al-Faiha", being in the podium, I had the opportunity to talk informally with the goalkeeper of the club from Annau, Rahat Japarov.

The first thing I asked about was how many rescues to expect from you in the upcoming game. To which he replied easily and naturally: tomorrow I will keep my gates locked.

At that time, these words seemed to be an extremely self-confident remark, but in them I found an outlet that suggested that tomorrow, going out on the field of the capital's Ashgabat stadium, I would be able to give a worthy rebuff to the opponent.


At the pre-match press conference, the captain of "Ahal" Elman Tagaev shared that his "team is 100 percent ready." He stated that the club "wants to show its football and adequately represent Turkmenistan in the international arena." Tagaev also said that the players "hope for the support of their fans who will fill the stands of the stadium."

Streams of these same fans began to flock to the stadium four hours before the start of the match. Faith in their club was reflected in the eyes of each of them. The belief that it will be possible to demonstrate superiority in a match with a team that plays in the same league with clubs where Ronaldo, Neymar and Benzema are enchanting.

By the way, these players could also be in Ashgabat, but the fate of the lot decided otherwise. But no one canceled the playoff and the meetings within it. Moreover, after a successful performance in the first round, leaving the group can become a pleasant reality.


... "Ahal" approached the match against Saudi "Al-Fahey", having not suffered a single defeat in the last five matches of the Turkmenistan Football Championship. The team won four times and drew once.

The opponent of the Turkmen club in the last five matches of the Saudi Arabian championship did not give the impression of a balanced team. In the last five meetings of the domestic tournament, the team earned three points, losing twice and drawing three times, placing in 10th place of the national championship.

However, the club from El-Majmaa was extremely determined for the match against Ahal. This is also evidenced by the fact that literally immediately upon arrival in Turkmenistan, Al-Faiha wished not to waste time and conduct additional training.


The first minutes were dictated by the players of "Ahal". Already in the third minute, Elman Tagaev got the opportunity to shoot, but the shot was higher than the goal.

The home team, driven by the usual noisy stands, looked more active than the opponent during the third half. But the players of the attack of the Turkmen club lacked accuracy in the final stage.

Time passed, and the initiative passed from one to the other. On the 25th minute, Al-Feiha earned a corner kick, after which it was even possible to strike, but the ball flew higher.


After that, the opponents continued to exchange sharp attacking jabs. At the end of the first half hour of the game, Dovranov checked the vigilance of the Saudi goalkeeper, striking with a rebound from the lawn, Ahmed Alcazar was on the spot.

A truly dangerous moment already in the possession of "Ahal" arose at the end of the first leg of the match, when a whole series of blows overtook Japarov's goal, but the defense of the Turkmen team acted admirably, parrying each incoming blow with its body, thereby preventing the score from opening in the match.

So the teams went to the break with an equal score - 0:0. And Velsahed Ovezov, who served as the head coach of Ahal, had 15 minutes to have a serious conversation with his players.

As a result, Ovezov did not rush with radical changes in the squad, but the guests actively started the second half. Three minutes after the resumption of the match, Bosnian Gojko Tsimirot brought Fashion Sakala to the strike position, and he hit at point blank range. But "Ahal" in this episode was rescued by Rahat Japarov.

The fateful moment for the players of "Ahal" occurred in the 51st minute. A successful exit from defense to attack led to the receipt of free space in the opponent's half of the field. Kakmuhammet Bashimov made a short transfer to Elman Tagaev. Having handled the ball under his left foot, he struck a smart shot for execution from outside the penalty area, thereby creating an unsolvable problem for the Saudi goalkeeper. At that moment, when the captain of "Ahal" opened the gates of Ahmed Alcazar, it seemed that the stands could collapse, such a wave of joy spread through the stadium, because about 20 thousand people came to support the Turkmen team.


The guests rushed to restore the advantage, but the Turkmen football players had other plans for this match.

In the 57th minute, both teams made double substitutions, but this did not fundamentally affect the course of the meeting.

Four minutes before the end of the match, Brazilian legionnaire Ricardo experienced one of the last chances to strike at the goal of "Ahal", but he did not hit the target.

The final whistle blows, the referee fixes the final result, and the Ashgabat Stadium is instantly engulfed by a wave of indescribable joy. This is the case when perseverance and diligence can beat any money and arrogance.


Photo: provided by the press service of the Football Federation of Turkmenistan

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