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‘The Outsiders': Hungarian Photographer Tamas Paczai Captures Football Fever at Kyrgyzstan vs Australia World Cup Qualifier

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On June 16, Kyrgyzstan took on Australia in a World Cup Qualifier.

Kyrgyzstan gave the ‘Socceroos’, currently champions of Asia, a good game. Trailing 1-0 at half time, Kyrgyzstan conceded a second Australian goal in the second half before registering a consolation goal with an impressive strike — direct from a corner kick, albeit with the help of a hand — towards the end of the game.

Crowd control was a major problem, as noted in this Global Voices article.

But while there was certainly ugliness in scenes from the evening of June 16, there was also beauty. Tamas Paczai, a Hungarian photographer living in Central Asia, managed to capture the pure hunger for football in a country that is very much in the FIFA hinterland and has hosted few teams of Australia's size since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The results are impressive.

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All photos belong to Tamas Paczai. His blog is tamaspaczai.com

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