Turkmenistan Book AFC Challenge Cup Spot; Maldives Thrash Bhutan

The Central Asians qualified for the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup in style this weekend with a 5-0 thrashing of the Philippines.
Turkmenistan went to town on the Philippines with four goals in the second half to book their place in the eight-nation event.

An own goal from Del Rosario Quimson got the Turkmen on their way after 26 minutes.

Striker Berdy Shamuradov added a second nine minutes after the break and Mekan Nasyrov made it 3-0 soon after.

Shamuradov grabbed his second and his team’s fourth in the 63rd minute and substitute Didarklych Urazov completed the rout two minutes later.

Turkmenistan coach Boris Grigoryants was pleased.

“We are happy that we won all the games and the players achieved the target. Our players missed a lot of chances otherwise the difference could have been much higher,” he said, according to the AFC website.

“We will be one of the toughest team in the AFC Challenge Cup next year and will try to qualify for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.”

Maldives finished second in their group with a 5-0 thrashing of Bhutan with the help of two goals from star striker Ali Ashfaq.

Holders India and 2008 runners-up Tajikistan have already booked their berths along with Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and North Korea.

There are two more spots up for grabs.

The location for the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup has yet to be decided.