March 10, 2012

Turkmenistan 0-0 Palestine (+pictures)

Kathmandu: Palestine and Turkmenistan played a goalless draw in Group A of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup with Saturday's stalemate leaving the group wide open.
In a dour first-half neither side created much in the way of opportunities and although Turkmenistan controlled the game Palestine's defensive duo of Murad Said and Ahmed Mahajna, who was playing his first match of the competition after serving a one-match suspension, did brilliantly in closing down space and frustrating the Turkmen attack.
Palestine looked a different side in the second half as they dominated play and crafted a number of good goal scoring opportunities.
The first chance to the West Asian side came in the 52nd minute when Turkmenistan keeper Rahmanberdi Alyhanov fumbled inside his own box while collecting a cross from Fahed Attal but with Alla Atya lurking nearby Gahryman Chonkayev cleared the danger.
Palestine's search for the winner continued but Alyhanov made a superb save to deny Abdulhamid Abuhabib in the 63rd minute before the Turkmen goalie was again called to action just a minute later to tip away Ashraf Alfawaghra's powerful curling shot.
Turkmenistan also had a couple of chances late in the match with Ruslan Mingazov failing to properly connect with Guvanch Abylov's 70th minute cross with the goal at his mercy before Gahryman Ghonkayev saw his powerful free-kick punched clear by the Palestine keeper.
Gahryman was later booked and will miss Turkmenistan's last match against hosts Nepal at the Dashrath Stadium while Palestine bring the curtain down on their Group A campaign against the Maldives over at the Halchowk Stadium, with both of Monday's matches kicking-off at 15:00 local time.

all results:
March 8,
Turkmenistan 3-1 Maldives
Palestine 2-0 Nepal

March 10,
Turkmenistan 0-0 Palestine
Nepal 0-1 Maldives

March 12,
Turkmenistan - Nepal
Maldives - Palestine

Group Table:
1. Turkmenistan 4 points 
2. Palestine 4 points
3. Maldives 3 points
4. Nepal 0 points

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