The Americans got off to a flying start with captain Mykell Bates heading home a Greg Garza free-kick in the ninth minute. Tajikistan were soon back in it, as Farkhod Vasiev's powerful drive from 25 metres was deflected into the net in the 32nd minute. Then, three minutes before half-time, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev broke down the right channel to cross to the onrushing Samad Shohzukhurov, and the captain made no mistake to make it 2-1.
The young Americans drew level just three minutes after the break, when Garza connected with Billy Schuler's lobbed pass across the empty net. Then it was Schuler who put the US ahead five minutes later, with a downward header from a corner by Alex Nimo.
The Tajiks did not give up however. Substitute Nuriddin Davronov made it 3-3 in the 82nd minute, and Fatkhuloev scored the winner four minutes from time.