TAJIKISTAN overcame a one-goal deficit to defeat Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 on Thursday in the semifinal round of the four-team King's Cup knockout tournament, at the 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Hosts Thailand and Malaysia were due to contest the second semi on Thursday, for a spot in Saturday's final. T&T will also be in action on Saturday, in the third-place playoff.
T&T goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup sustained an injury to his upper back after a collision with Tajikistan's attacker Shahrom Samiev in the 24th minute.
However, after receiving treatment, Frenderup played a part in T&T's goal; his 26th minute freekick was met by Levi Garcia, who head the ball to his brother Judah.
The younger Garcia got between right-back Manuchekhr Safarov and goalkeeper Rustam Yatimov and slotted his right-footed effort into the open net.
Two minutes into the second half, Tajikistan equalised courtesy of centre-forward Mukhammadzhon Rakhimov.
T&T centre-back Sheldon Bateau misjudged a ball from left-back Akhtam Nazarov and Rakhimov got behind him and send his left-footed shot under the body of the advancing Frenderup.
Samiev and Frenderup were involved in another incident; in the 55th minute, Frenderup came down hard after tipping Samiev's header overbar, and had to be replaced by T&T's lone back-up goalie, veteran Marvin Phillip.
Tajikistan got the game-winner in the 75th, from a right-footed drive by substitute Ekhson Pandzhshanbe, who only had Phillip to beat, following a midfield exchange between Shervoni Mabatshoev and Amirbek Dzhuraboev.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Nicklas Frenderup (GK) (1.Marvin Phillip [GK] 61); 16.Alvin Jones, 2.Aubrey David, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 19.Keston Julien; 15.Neveal Hackshaw, 17.Noah Powder (23.Leston Paul 78); 9.Ajani Fortune (14.John-Paul Rochford 67), 10.Kevin Molino (captain), 7.Judah Garcia (13.Reon Moore 67); 11.Levi Garcia.
Unused substitutes: 3.Jesse Williams, 6.Anthony Herbert, 8.Andre Fortune II, 12.Kareem Moses.
Coach: Angus Eve
Tajikistan (4-2-3-1): 1.Rustam Yatimov (GK); 5.Manuchehr Safarov, 6.Vahdat Hanonov, 2.Zoir Dzhuraboev, 3.Tabrez Islomov; 8.Amirbek Juraboev, 19.Akhtam Nazarov (captain); 15.Shervoni Mabatshoev, 25.Nuriddin Khamrokulov, 11.Muhammadjon Rahimov; 22.Shahrom Samiev.
Substitutes: 16.Shohrukh Qirghizboev (GK), 23.Mukhriddin Khasanov (GK), 4.Siyovush Asrorov, 9.Rustam Soiriv, 10.Komron Tursunov, 12.Mehrubon Karimov, 13.Amadoni Kamolov, 17.Eshoni Panshanbe, 20.Alijon Karomatullozoda, 24.Daler Imomnazarov, 26.Parviz Baki-Akhunov.
Coach: Petar Segrt
SOURCE: T&T Newsday