Uzbekistan win 2019 CAFA U-23 Women’s Championship title in Tajikistan

With much of the heavy lifting done during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over runners-up Islamic Republic or Iran, Bakhrom Norsafarov’s side finished the job with a minimum of fuss to secure the regional crown in convincing fashion.

Despite their final day defeat, Tajikistan finished third, with Kyrgyz Republic rounding out the top four of the six-team event.

Needing only a draw to seal the title, any fears of a final day hiccup were allayed before half-time as Uzbekistan scored three early goals to confirm a runaway title with a 3-0 win over Tajikistan in Hisor.

Dildora Nozimova settled any nerves with the opening goal in just the second minute, and the tournament looked as good as won when Umida Zoirova made it 2-0 just six minutes later.

Nilufar Kudratova put the destination of the trophy beyond doubt in the 32nd minute, adding a third goal as Uzbekistan took their final tally to 29 goals without reply in the five-game competition.

Uzbekistan’s win sealed their status as the region’s emerging women’s football power, with the nation seemingly poised to build strongly towards the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Roll of honour

Champions: Uzbekistan
Runners-up: IR Iran
Third: Tajikistan
MVP: Umida Zoirova (UZB)
Top scorer: Hajar Dabbaghi (IRN)
Fair Play: Afghanistan