Wednesday , April 17 2024

Uzbekistan overcome India challenge in Asian Cup 2023!

Uzbekistan boosted their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 knockout stage hopes after a 3-0 win over India in Group B on Thursday, January 18.

First half goals from Abbosbek Fayzullayev, Igor Sergeyev and Sherzod Nasrullayev secured Uzbekistan the win at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium which took them to four points, two behind Australia.

Uzbekistan’s victory means Australia – who defeated Syria 1-0 earlier on Thursday – are assured of a knockout stage spot while India’s hopes now depend on winning their final group tie against the Syrians after two consecutive defeats.

Both sides rang in the changes but it was Srecko Katanec’s Uzbekistan who impressed, taking the lead in the fourth minute through Fayzullayev.

The CSKA Moscow midfielder orchestrated the move, intercepting possession deep in midfield before exchanging passes with Otabek Shukurov to open up the Indian defence before he rose highest to nod home past goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh.

Uzbekistan were unlucky not to find the back of the net again seven minutes later when Jaloliddin Masharipov curled in a beautiful free-kick which beat Gurpreet but not the crossbar.

India pushed forward but the move proved costly for Igor Stimac’s side as they conceded again in the 18th minute with Fayzullayev pouncing on Rahul Beke’s mistake before slipping the ball into the box, with Akash Mishra’s clearance rattling the woodwork before the ball landed kindly for Sergeyev to thump home.

India tried to fight back and came alive just before the half-hour mark when Mishra threatened with a looping header off a Sunil Chhetri set-piece, before the Indian captain missed the mark with his headed attempt at the 45th minute mark.

Nasrullayev, however, made it 3-0 for Uzbekistan in added time when he coolly tapped home after his initial effort rebounded off the post.

The onus was on India to find their way back and they came close to scoring in the 48th minute with Rahul KP hitting the crossbar before Chhetri failed to find the target off the rebound.

The onus was on India to find their way back and they came close in the 48th minute with Rahul KP hitting the crossbar before Chhetri failed to find the target off the rebound.

India poured bodies forward and were denied again in the 72nd minute by a resolute Utkir Yusupov, who produced a fingertip save to deny Beke’s long-ranged effort as Uzbekistan saw out the win.

India will need three points against Syria on Tuesday to stand a chance of advancing as one of the four best third-placed finishers while a win for Uzbekistan against Australia will see them finishing top of the group.

INDIA: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Rahul Bheke, Akash Mishra – Lalengmawia Apuia, Suresh Singh Wangjam (84′ Deepak Tangri) – Manvir Singh (46′ Rahul KP), Anirudh Thapa (72′ Brandon Fernandes), Mahesh Singh Naorem (86′ Udanta Singh), Sunil Chhetri (72′ Ishan Pandita)

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