Football team “Merv” of the SC “Turkmengas” reached the group stage of the AFC Cup
16:32 23.08.2023 1927
Football teams sponsored by Turkmen oil and gas companies successfully perform not only in national but also in international competitions. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that the football team “Merv”, sponsored by the State Concern “Turkmengas”, successfully passed the qualifying matches and entered the group stage of the AFC Cup.
Merv, which won the bronze medal of the national championship last year, received the right to participate in the current season of the AFC Cup from the qualifying round. The wards of experienced coach Vitaly Alikperov played their first match in the qualifying round on August 15 against the Kyrgyz football team Alai, winning 1:0 over strong opponents. The only goal in the match was scored by Musa Nurnazarov in the 13th minute.
This victory gave Merv the opportunity to face the Tajik Khujand in the decisive match, which gave them the right to advance to the group stage. The fact that the match was held in Tajikistan in front of the Khujand fans increased the responsibility of Turkmen football players. However, in the match held on August 22, thanks to the team spirit, they managed to beat Khujand with a score of 2:1.
The match, which was broadcast live on Tajik television and was available to Turkmen fans, showed that both opponents are equal in strength. The players of "Merv" were not at all confused, despite the fact that they are playing on the field of "Khujand" in front of the fans of the opposing team. In some moments they were even bolder and stronger than their rivals.
Thus, in the 54th minute of the match, striker Murat Yagshiev put Merv ahead by the score. But the team managed to maintain this success until the 79th minute. Khujand defender Parviz Bokiev equalized 11 minutes before the end of regular time. After that, none of the attacks of the opposing sides yielded results, the game ended in a 1-1 draw, and the match was extended for another half an hour.
It was these half an hour of extra time that brought success to Merv. Murat Ovezmuradov, who took the field instead of Musa Nurnazarov, who scored in the 111th minute of the match with Alai, scored the winning goal for Merv in the 114th minute, three minutes after being included in the game.
This victory gave the team, sponsored by the State Concern "Turkmengas", the right to participate in the group stage of the tournament. In the central region of the AFC Cup "Merv" will compete with the teams "Altyn Asyr" of the country, "Ravshan" of Tajikistan and "Abdysh-Ata" of the Kyrgyz Republic. Group matches will start on September 20 and end on December 14. "Merv" will play six matches in the season, three of them will be held in our country - among the fans of "Merv".
Recall that this year the Ahal football team, sponsored by the General Directorate of Türkmennebitönümleri, will also take part in the AFC Champions League.
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