KAZAKHSTAN – TAJIKISTAN 3:2 (2:1)
January 23rd, 2016, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 300 spectators
Best players: Abat Aimbetov, Parvizdzhon Umarbaev
Post match comments
Serik Abdualiyev, Head coach of team Kazakhstan:
– Good afternoon! First of all, I want to thank everybody who is involved with organization of such a wonderful tournament. It is over for our team, and I can't say that "on a high tune". The task we had for the Commonwealth Cup was to take a prize place. But we lacked something in each game: sometimes it was luck, sometimes it was skill. Besides, six or seven first team players couldn't come to the tournament. So we can say we played from the scratch. I want to specifically thank our today's opponent. Team Tajikistan is very creative and we liked them very much. In my view, this is the most "playing" team on the tournament. They've got enormous potential, and given that they are younger than their competitors, they are still not afraid of anything and not afraid of dribbling. I want to congratulate Roman Pylypchuk for he has an excellent team. I'd also like to summarize the final standings: I think that neither we nor the opponent should have fought for the last places on the tournament. All the teams here have the same level. The 3rd, the 4th or maximum the 5th place is our real position in the "ratings"! This is my personal opinion. I know that our team and I are being criticized in Kazakhstan media and some may say I am creating PR. But, no! I know what our team is capable of and that's why I'm saying all this.
– Should the twenty-year-olds be professionals already, in your view?
– They should be, in my opinion. At least we trust them a lot and we count on their own approach. We've had a game for the last place today. It was difficult to find the right words and to set the right mood for such a match. They just went to the pitch and played the right way. As a coaching staff we did not have a variety of maneuvers today. We brought twenty players here and six (!) got injured, so we only had three players on substitution. Some guys on pitch were playing on medication.
– The tournament is over for you. A question not related to the game: have the guys managed to see the beauties of St. Petersburg?
– I have been here when I was a Kairat player. We've been coming three or four days prior to the game and so we had time to walk around the city. When we arrived here this time I asked the guys in the very beginning if they wanted any excursions (the organizing committee was offering such a service). Many of them replied that they wanted to get acquainted with St. Petersburg on their own. This is their right. I know that my players like this city and that they will leave it with kind impressions!
Roman Pylypchuk, Head coach of team Tajikistan:
– Please, let me share my summary right away. I am very satisfied with the entire tournament – with the way it is organized, the way we were received, with the venue. I've told already before, and I want to stress out again that our coaching staff and the players got great practice here as we saw our positive and negative sides and gathered rich material to work on. We also had pleasant surprises as some players who had been in shadow previously managed to show themselves here. That's why I would like to say "special thanks" to my players who had practically only one lineup, but were able to play well in all the games during just six days. Believe me this is very hard. We conceded two goals today in the very beginning. There was a sixteen-year-old playing in that zone. It's enormously difficult to handle such a tense schedule in this age. So we won't be saying anything bad to him. We should cheer him up instead. Today we saw that our players are "empty" already as they gave everything they had during the competition. They lacked energy and we had only defenders on the bench.
– What conclusions will you make on your return to Tajikistan? Will the team be changed in some way?
– There's a little difficulty here as I didn't assemble this team. I've been working for a short time. I was just given a list from our main national team staff, which is right! They pointed at weak positions in the team, including a goalkeeper. Certainly, we'll have to work a lot. The team has our most important matches in September. We should have all the candidates aligned in terms of optimal physical shape by then. As for goalkeepers, we'll search for young talents in small towns and train them. Or alternatively we will "naturalize" some.