SAF Cup: Afghanistan thrash Bhutan 8-1December 7th, 2011 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Afghanistan booked their maiden semifinal berth of the SAFF Cup football tournament with a 8-1 drubbing of Bhutan in their last Group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Wednesday.
Afghanistan, who have emerged as the title favourites, toyed with Bhutan, the favourite whipping boys of the tournament, and took a 5-1 lead in the first half. Norway-based striker Belal Arezou (15th, 18th, 45th, 83rd) tormented the Bhutan defence and is now the leading goal scorer in the tournament with five. Yata Mohammad Yamrali (4th), Haroon Fakruddin (10th), Djelaluddin Shrityar (48th) and Yousef Mashriqi (60th) added to the tally.
Bhutan, who lost 0-3 and 0-5 to Sri Lanka and hosts India, scored the consolation goal with Chencho Gyeltshen’s strike in the 22nd minute.
Afghanistan got the lead in the 4th minute as Yamrali scored the quickest goal of the tournament. Bhutan goalkeeper Mon Bhattarai did well to punch away a free-kick from Mohammed Esraful but an unmarked Yamrali scored from the rebound to open the floodgates.
They doubled the lead in the 10th minute through Mumbai FC defender Fakruddin, who nodded in the rebound after Mohammad Esrafiul’s long ranger was again blocked by Bhattarai.
Arezou stamped his class in the 15th minute as he dribbled past defenders and slotted it past the Bhutan goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Arezou got his second after he was set-up by Sanjar Ahmadi and the striker made it 4-0. He completed his hat-trick in the dying minutes of the first-half as Afghanistan went into break 5-1.
Bhutan scored their only goal of the tournament through Gyeltshen.
The second half continued in the same vein and Afghanistan slammed in three more.
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Tags: ahmadi, chencho, cup football, drubbing, floodgates, football tournament, free kick, goal scorer, goalkeeper, haroon, hat trick, jawaharlal nehru, jawaharlal nehru stadium, long ranger, mohammad, saf, semifinal berth, whipping boys, yata, yousef