FIFA U-17 World Cup record
Tajikistan have so far made just one appearance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup - the former Soviet republic defied the odds by booking qualification for Korea Republic 2007. They did more than make up the numbers in their maiden FIFA tournament and reached the second round courtesy of a 4-3 victory against USA.
The road to Brazil
Tajikistan's road to Brazil proved bumpy. They suffered a 6-2 defeat at the hands of hosts Malaysia in their AFC U-16 Championships opener but despite that blow, the Central Asians rebounded by holding Japan to a goalless draw for a precious point. A hard-fought 2-1 win over Thailand sealed their place in the last eight before a penalty shoot-out victory against Korea DPR saw them progress to Brazil 2019.
An experienced coach, Zaynidin Rakhimov impressed by taking his unfancied side to the final in the Asian finals for the first time in their history. All the more notable was the fact that the side, under the mentor, put their disastrous opening defeat behind them to progress all the way to the final. The coach employed a successful counter-attacking game plan which saw them sweep past two-time winners Korea DPR in the quarter-final to book their second FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance.
Did you know
- Goalkeeper Mukhriddin Khasanov emerged the hero for Tajikistan as he pulled off a series of superb saves in their consecutive penalty shoot-out victories against Korea DPR in the quarter-finals and then Korea Republic in the semi-finals.
- Coach Rakhimov attributed the team's qualifying success to their unity.