Armenia women’s national football team continues to blaze its own trail

The Armenia women’s national football (soccer) team is once again making history.

Since Armenia established both men’s and women’s national teams, neither has earned a spot in a major tournament. For decades, Armenia has participated in qualifiers and come just short of the big stage. Now, a new batch of talented Armenian women is trying to etch its name into Armenian sports lore.

The women’s national team is currently off to the races in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025 qualifying competition. After a bumpy start to qualification with a 0-5 loss to Romania on April 5, the hill to regain ground was steep. Group C4 was always going to be a challenge for Armenia, with Romania, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan all awaiting their chance to play. 

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On April 9, Armenia made history, earning its first competitive victory in more than 13 years when a 91st minute goal from 18-year-old Ani Safaryan sealed a 3-2 away win against Bulgaria. Yet Armenia still had four more qualifiers ahead, and there was little time to celebrate.

On May 31 in Armavir, Armenia hosted Kazakhstan in yet another monumental game. Expectations for this young, talented and budding team were rising — and the women showed they could deliver.

Armenia got the game going with a goal in the 13th minute thanks to Anna Dallakyan. Oksanna Pizlova had the assist on that play, giving the home team a lead going into halftime. Just four minutes into the second half, Armenia was awarded a penalty kick that captain Maral Artin stepped up to take. Donning her newly-earned number 10 jersey (previously wearing number eight), Artin composed herself and rifled in a goal, doubling the lead for Armenia. 

Kazakhstan had a consolation goal in them, as Kamila Kulmagambetova sailed her shot just above the goalkeeper’s hands into the back of the net. Armenia played strong defense and launched a series of counter attacks for the final 20 minutes. The game’s final act was made up of a mixture of keeping possession and trying to net a third goal to cement victory. 

In the end, Armenia won 2-1 and earned six points in three games in the European qualifiers. This was the first time that the Armenia women’s team won back-to-back games in its history. It also marked the first time Armenia has scored five or more goals in a two-game span. 

As the full-time whistle blew, Armenia’s bench cleared onto the pitch to join the players in celebration. Chants of “Hayastan” rang out with players hugging, crying and celebrating with fans in the stands. 

Armenia’s job is not done. However, the roar of celebrations was more than merited. Generations of Armenian women’s football fans had yet to experience what this team just accomplished — including many of the current players who grew up watching the first rendition of Armenian women’s football. Armenia entered uncharted territory and is now as close as it’s ever been to accomplishing something even the men’s team has yet to achieve.

Armenia’s away fixture with Kazakhstan on June 4 did not go its way, finishing in a 1-4 loss for Armenia. Despite the result, Armenia is still in pole position for possible qualification for the play-offs to enter Euro 2025. Armenia will face Bulgaria on July 12 in Armenia and Romania away from home on July 16 to round off its Euro 2025 campaign. With six points in four matches, Armenia is en-route to a second-place finish. 

All signs are pointing towards the national teams’ rise in the world rankings.

Jason Takhtadjian

Jason Takhtadjian

Jason Takhtadjian is a reporter, producer and weekend anchor at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa. Takhtadjian began college pursuing Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Aerospace until deciding to pursue a sports broadcast career after one semester at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. While at UNLV, Takhtadjian worked on his own weekly radio show/podcast covering soccer and basketball, produced his own sports debate show, was part of the university’s weekly sports show “The Rebel Report” and was the play-by-play commentator for UNLV men’s and women’s soccer and basketball, to name a few. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Jason was graduating college and had to pivot to the world of general news to land a job. Three years after accepting a job in the middle of the United States with no Armenian community, Takhtadjian accepted a reporter position at KSEE in Fresno, California. The 26-year-old also worked as a contributor for Armenian Sports News, helping grow the page by thousands of followers in less than a year of work.

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