Afghanistan’s U-16 Football Team returned home on Wednesday evening after finishing second in the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) U-16 tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The team had gone into the tournament as defending champions but lost to Uzbekistan in the opening match. However they went on to beat Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“In these matches we have learned that we need changes in our team and very soon we will bring the changes,” said the team’s coach Sayed Hadi Kazimi adding that “we will start our training from Saturday”.
Noman Walizada, a member of the team, said: “We had gained very good experience from these matches and InshahAllah we will get good results from the next tournament.”
In the meantime, Afghanistan's Football Federation (AAF) Chairman Kramuddin Karim has praised the team and said: “It was very important for Afghanistan to finish second in the CAFA and we are happy with the team’s display in the tournament.”
“We hope that the team plays better in the next tournament and brings more honor for Afghanistan,” he said.
The tournament started on Thursday in Tashkent in Uzbekistan and ended on Tuesday.
Four teams including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan took part in the tournament.
The Afghan team will travel to Malaysia in about two months where they will take part in the qualifying rounds of the AFC U-16 Championships - which for some teams will mean a berth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2019.
This tournament will be played from September 20.