DUSHANBE, February 19, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- Fathullo Fathulloyev’s brace of goals helped revive Tajikistan’s hopes at the 2010 Asian football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Colombo.

Tajik football team yesterday beat hosts Sri Lanka 3-1 to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.

Fathullo Fathuloyev scored twice as Tajikistan, who won the inaugural title in 2006, bounced back from their surprise defeat by Bangladesh on Tuesday.

According to AFC official website, the team coach Qodirov said, “The main reason we lost to Bangladesh was due to the rain before the match which made it very stuffy and there was a lot of humidity. We also arrived in Colombo only the day before the game."  “But we have now trained and acclimatized and we are starting to show how we can play.”

The 2010 AFC Challenge Cup football tournament is being held in Sri Lanka on February 16-27 February.  The winner will qualify for the Asian Cup 2011.  However, if India successfully defends its 2008 title, the runner-up will qualify instead.  India, the defending champions, will be fielding their under-23 squad for this tournament