Turkmenistan jets into Abu Dhabi, start preps ahead of Cranes friendly

Turkmenistan players stretch after their first training session in Abu Dhabi. (PHOTOS/AGENCIES)

International Build-up game

Turkmenistan vs Uganda Cranes

New York University Stadium, Abu Dhabi 

Sunday, 09-06-2019 

Turkmenistan Men’s National football team is already in Abu Dhabi ahead of their international build-up game against the Uganda Cranes.

The Karakum Warriors like they are commonly known, jetted into Abu Dhabi with a delegation that consisted of 28 personnel, 23 of whom are players.

The United Arab Emirates nation will hold camp as they build up to the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that start in September.

During their stay in Abu Dhabi, they will take on Uganda in one of their two lined-up build-up games, on Sunday, June 9th. The match against the Cranes will be played behind closed doors as a fulfillment of an agreement by the two sides.

On thier first day in camp, the team held a training session that saw three of their key players absent. Forward Murad Yakshiyev, midfielder Ruslan Mingazov and defender Zafar Babajanov did not train due to respective injury issues.

About the Turkmenistan Men’s football national team

After the country gained independence, they played their first match against Kazakhstan on 1 June 1992.

They qualified for the 2004 Asian Cup by winning the 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification, where they were placed in group C, alongside the UAE, Syria and Sri Lanka .

In the autumn of 2003, in the first leg of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification, they defeated Afghanistan 11–0 in Ashgabat.

In the second leg the team won 0–2. In December 2003, the national team of Turkmenistan reached the top 100 in the FIFA rankings for the first time in its history, reaching the 99th position, thanks to the successes in the 2004 Asian Cup and the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.

In the 2004 Asian Cup that took place in China, Turkmmenistan was placed in group C, with neighbours Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. They were knocked out in the group stages following two defeats and a draw against Saudi Arabia.

In February 2010, the team went to Sri Lanka to participate in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup. For the first time, they made it to the final, only to see them lose against North Korea in the penalty shootout. In the same year, the Football Association of Turkmenistan invited a native Turkmen, the head coach of FC Rubin Kazan, Kurban Berdyevto to resume leadership of the team.

2018 World Cup qulification game with Iran in Tehran.

In March 2011, Turkmenistan successfully entered the final round of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, beating Pakistan, Taiwan, and played in a draw with India in the qualifying competition in Kuala Lumpur.

In the summer of 2011, in the race for a spot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, they faced Indonesia in the second round. After managing a 1–1 draw in the first leg in Ashghabat, they were eventually defeated 4–3 in the second leg, 5–4 on aggregate, thus were knocked out of the contention for Brazil 2014.

In winter 2012 the team gathered for a training camp in Turkey. In preparation for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, Ýazguly Hojageldyýew arranged a friendly match with Romania, which saw them lost 4–0.

In March 2012, the team went to Kathmandu to participate in the final tournament of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup. They beat the hosts Nepal 3–0 and Maldives 3–1, while the final group stage match with Palestine ended in a goalless draw. In the semifinals, Turkmenistan defeated the Philippines 2–1. However, as in the previous edition, they lost the final match to North Korea with a scoreline of 1–2.

In October 2012, Turkmenistan’s team took second place at the 2012 CFF Cup, beating the teams of Vietnam and Laos, only to lose in the final match against the South Korean University Selection team 0–4.

On 23 March 2013 Turkmenistan defeated Cambodia 7–0 in Manila, on the qualifying round of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. In the second round, Turkmenistan was to meet Brunei, but the team did not arrive at the tournament, thus Turkmenistan was awarded a default 3–0 victory. In the last round, Turkmenistan lost to Philippines1–0, but managed to qualify for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup finals as the best second placed team alongside Laos.

In January 2014, they held three training camps in May and participated in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, where they were eliminated in the group stage, thereby losing the chance to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup. In June 2014, as a result of their poor performance at the AFC Challenge Cup, the entire coaching staff was dismissed, including the head coach.

In the spring of 2015, Amangylyc Kocumow was appointed as the new head coach of the national team to prepare the team for participation in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. The team started off badly, losing to one of the weakest team in Asia – Guam national football team 0:1. On June 16, 2015, for the first time, the Turkmenistan national team held a match outside Ashgabat, at the Spot toplumy stadium in Dashoguz in the presence of 10,000 spectators, the Turkmenistan team played a draw with Iran (1:1). Then, the team lost Oman 1:3. In the home games that took place at the Kopetdag Stadium in October 2016, Turkmenistan beat India 2:1 and Guam 1:0. In November, the Turkmenistan held a friendly match with the UAE, which ended in a 1:5 defeat and an official match with Iran, in which the team lost 1:3. On November 17, 2016, the national team of Turkmenistan in the home game sensationally beat the national team of Oman 2:1. In the final stage, the Turkmenistan national team defeated India 2:1. The Turkmenistan team took the 3rd place in Group D, which did not allow the team to go to the next stage of the qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup, but gave the opportunity to fight for getting into the 2019 Asian Cup.

Turkmenistan had finally qualified to the 2019 Asian Cup for the second time in history.

Turkmenistan National Team Squad in Abu Dhabi


Mamed Orazmuhamedov – FC Altyn Asyr

-Batyr Babayev – FC Ahal

-Rahat Japarov – FC Kopetdag

-Mekan Saparov – FC Altyn Asyr

-Gurbangeldi  Batyrov – FC Altyn Asyr

-Bakhtiyar Gurgenov – FC Altyn Asyr

-Shohrat Soyunov – FC Ahal

-Abdy Bashimov – FC Ahal

-Gurbanguly Ashirov – FC Ahal

-Vezirgeldy Ilyasov – FC Ahal

-Merdan Gurbanov – FC Ahal

-Serdar Geldiyev – FC Altyn Asyr

-Resul Hojaev – FC Altyn Asyr

-Mirza Beknazarov – FC Ahal

-Guychmyrat Annagulyyev – FC Ashgabat

-Dovletmyrat Seyitmuhammedov – FC Kopetdag

-Yhlas Magtymov – FC Shagadam

-Arslanmyrat Amanov – FC Lokomotiv Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

-Artur Gevorkyan – FC Persib Bandung (Indonesia)

-Meylis Diniyev – FC Kopetdag

-Altymyrat Annadurdyev – FC Altyn Asyr

-Vahyt Orazsahedov – FC Dordoi (Kyrgyzstan)

-Didar Durdyev – FC Ahal

Technical staff:

Charyyarguly Sediyev – Team Delegation Leader

-Ante Miše – Head coach

-Sandro Tomić – Goalkeeping coach

-Maksim Belyh – Coach

-Begench Garayev – Coach



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