BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After seeing his Tajikistan U-16 side put to the sword 6-2 by hosts Malaysia U-16, head coach Zaynidin Rakhimov remarked that he had not expected his charges to lose by such a huge margin.
The Central Asian side last year had qualified for the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship finals as qualifiers group leaders without conceding a single goal, but let in three goals in each half of the finals tournament opening match against the hosts, on Thursday.
Speaking in the post match press conference through an interpreter after the match that was held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Rakhimov provided a reason for the defeat.
"I think Malaysia must have known all of our secrets; that we have a big problem with our defence today."
When asked by Goal whether he had expected to lose by a four-goal margin, his translated response was only one word; "No."
Tajikistan's next match is against Japan on Sunday, at the UM Arena Stadium.
The full tournament fixtures can be viewed and downloaded from here.
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