African champions Cameroon lost 1-0 to Tajikistan in their opening FIFA Under-17 World Cup Group E game on Monday at the Estádio Kléber Andrade in Cariacica, Brazil.
Sharifbek Rahmatov scored the only goal of the game, a penalty in the 51st minute, after Cameroon keeper Manfred Ekoi brought down Rustam Soirov in the penalty box.
Tajikistan had the ball in the back of the net in the 66th minute after Soirov raced onto a through ball and shrugged off a challenge to beat Ekoi with a low finish. However, the effort was ruled out by VAR after Tajikistan midfielder Shuhrat Elmurodov was adjudged to have committed a foul against Cameroon’s Daouda Amadou in the build-up to the goal. Elmurodov was subsequently booked in the 67th minute.
Elmurodov was sent off six minutes later after picking up a second yellow card for another challenge on Amadou.
Despite playing with 10 men, Tajikistan held on for a famous victory which sent them top of the Group, two points clear of Spain and Argentina. Cameroon, meanwhile, is at the bottom of the group.
The win was Tajikistan’s second-ever victory at the tournament. The Asian side’s only other win came in 2007 when they defeated the United States 4-3 in South Korea.
Cameroon will next play South American champions Argentina on Thursday at the same venue.