Friday 23 March 2018, 07:12

Kyrgyz Republic make history with landmark qualification

  • Kyrgyz Republic win through to 2019 AFC Asian Cup

  • It is the Central Asian nation’s first qualification for a major competition

  • Three more tickets to the 24-nation Asian Cup remain

Kyrgyz Republic achieved a milestone moment in the nation’s football history on Thursday by earning maiden qualification to the AFC Asian Cup.

The Central Asian nation secured their ticket to Asia’s premier competition with a match to spare in the third round of qualifying.

A 5-1 win over Myanmar in neutral Incheon, Korea Republic was enough to open up a five-point gap over their opponents. A win over the already-qualified India on Tuesday would wrap up top spot.

It is the former Soviet nation’s seventh attempt to qualify for the Asian Cup.

The campaign had been underway for nearly three years, with the early stages of qualification wrapped into Asia’s qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ™.

“We have made our dreams come true,” said Kyrgyz Republic coach Aleksandr Krestinin. “We have been able to take the next step in the development of our football. The players and the country lived with the same dream: qualification for the finals.”

Kyrgyz Republic are only new face to have qualified for next year’s newly-expanded 24-nation AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

However, there will be at least two more on Tuesday when Philippines, Yemen and Tajikistan complete Group E matches. The final spot up for grabs will be fought out between Group B opponents Korea DPR and Hong Kong.