Fource is with the ex­cel­lent Uzbekis

Sport360 - - 2019 Asian Cup - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 ✉ ed­i­to­[email protected]

Uzbek­istan con­firmed their spot in the Asian Cup 2019’s round of 16 after record­ing an em­phatic 4-0 win against Turk­menistan in a Group F tie on Sun­day.

The win, cou­pled with Ja­pan’s 1-0 tri­umph over Oman in the day’s ear­lier match, en­sured the Samu­rai Blue and Uzbek­istan the top two spots in the group with six points each, with their clash on Thurs­day to de­ter­mine who wins the group.

Turk­menistan, mean­while, will face Oman with both teams need­ing the three points to stand a chance of pro­gress­ing to the knock­out stage as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Uzbek­istan were all busi­ness from the first blow of the whis­tle with Dos­ton­bek Kham­damov’s header hit­ting the ground be­fore just re­bound­ing over the cross­bar in the fifth minute.

Uzbek­istan con­tin­ued to push and a counter-at­tack in the 16th minute caught the Turk­menistan back­line off-guard as skip­per Odil Akhme­dov led the charge, with a string of passes end­ing with Ja­vokhir Sidikov slid­ing the ball into an un­guarded goal­mouth.

Eight min­utes later, Turk­menistan lost the ball in mid­field with Otabek Shukurov send­ing a through pass down the mid­dle to El­dor Sho­murodov, whose right-footed ef­fort made its way past ‘keeper Mam­met Oraz­muhamme­dov.

Five minute be­fore the break, Gur­ban­geldi Baty­rov’s poor clear­ance al­lowed Jalolid­din Masharipov to let fly a half-vol­ley to make it 3-0.

Less than two min­utes later, Masharipov turned provider with his pass find­ing Sho­murodov, and the 23-year-old for­ward dis­played ex­cel­lent foot­work be­fore scor­ing his sec­ond of the night.

The onus was on Yazguly Ho­jageldiyev’s side to re­duce their deficit, but the White Wolves con­tin­ued press­ing, forc­ing Oraz­muhamme­dov to make a dou­ble save in the 55th minute.

Uzbek­istan next face Ja­pan at Khal­ifa bin Zayed Sta­dium in Al Ain on Thurs­day.

Else­where, Al­moez Ali was the star of the show on Sun­day af­ter­noon as he scored four and set up a fifth in Qatar’s 6-0 de­feat of North Ko­rea as Felix Sanchez’s side moved to the top of the Group E stand­ings and into the knock­out stage.

Pile on: Uzbek­istan cel­e­brate.

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