Uzbekistan 3-1 Saudi Arabia

Melbourne: Sardor Rashidov scored twice as Uzbekistan set up an AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 quarter-final with Korea Republic after securing a crucial 3-1 win over Group B rivals Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Uzbekistan had to win to deny Saudi Arabia a place in the last eight and the Central Asians enjoyed the ideal start at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium as recalled 23-year-old Bunyodkor midfielder Rashidov netted inside the opening two minutes.

Mohammed Al Sahlawi did pull Saudi Arabia level from the penalty spot on the hour mark, but after substitute Vokhid Shodiev restored Uzbekistan’s advantage 11 minutes later, Rashidov’s second of the night with just over 10 minutes remaining saw Mirdjalal Kasimov’s 2011 semi-finalists secure a fourth consecutive quarter-finals appearance.

Needing to win to progress from Group B alongside table-toppers China, Uzbekistan coach Kasimov made five changes following Wednesday’s defeat by China, with captain Server Djeparov, Sanjar Tursunov, Igor Sergeev, Timur Kapadze and Akmal Shorakhmedov dropped to the bench.

And it was one of their replacements who handed Uzbekistan the ideal start inside 90 seconds as Rashidov charged into the penalty area following poor defending by Saudi Arabia, coupled with a fortunate deflection, before coolly guiding his strike through the legs of goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah at his near post.

Uzbekistan remained on top as the half progressed against a shell-shocked Saudi Arabia who continued to struggle to settle into the contest with Cosmin Olaroiu’s side, who showed one change from their win over DPR Korea last time out, only needing a draw to progress at the expense of their opponents.

Saudi Arabia did enjoy a brighter end to the first half, although Uzbekistan goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov remained largely untested.

The tight nature of the contest continued at the start of the second half, although despite Uzbekistan enjoying the greater share of possession, Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Abdullah was also enjoying a quiet evening following the early goal.

But the game suddenly swung Saudi Arabia’s way on the hour mark as Al Sahlawi confidently beat Nesterov from the penalty spot after Vitaliy Denisov had been adjudged to have bundled over Naif Hazazi inside the area as the pair challenged to meet Abdulla Al Dossary’s left wing cross.

Saudi Arabia, though, were back on level terms for just 11 minutes as Shodiev, who replaced Jamshid Iskanderov shortly after the equaliser, out-jumped Yasir Al Shahrani to meet Shavkat Mulladjanov’s right wing cross, and the striker guided his header back across the face and goal and into the bottom corner with Abdullah rooted to the spot.

And with Saudi Arabia pushing forward, Rashidov was found in space on the near side by Jasur Khasanov’s superb cross field pass and the midfielder beat exposed goalkeeper Abdullah from inside the penalty area to double Uzbekistan’s lead and hand 2007 finalists Saudi Arabia a second consecutive group stage exit.

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation website

Russia 2018/UAE 2019 Qualifiers: Philippines 1-5 Uzbekistan

Bocaue City: Uzbekistan recorded a resounding 5-1 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup win over the Philippines on Thursday to leapfrog their Southeast Asian opponents and claim second spot in Group H behind leaders DPR Korea.

A brace apiece from Sardor Rashidov and Igor Sergeev coupled with Odil Akhmedov’s early opener saw Samvel Babayan’s charges add to last week’s 1-0 win over Yemen and move to within three points of DPR Korea who they were beaten by in their first game

The result, meanwhile, sees the Azkals lose for the first time and slip to third following earlier successes against both Bahrain and Yemen.

Uzbekistan made a lightening start to the game in torrential conditions and were ahead after only 44 seconds, Akhmedov firing home past Neil Etheridge courtesy of a neat drive from the edge of the penalty area.

Rashidov extended Uzbekistan’s lead with a curling shot on 14 minutes, before Sergeev having been found by Anzur Ismailov registered his first of the night two minutes before the break.

Javier Patino then missed a glorious chance to pull one back for the hosts, only to see Sergeev notch his second and Uzbekistan’s fourth with a firm header on 65 minutes.

Stephan Schrock did manage to score for the Philippines moments later, but Rashidov was on hand to complete the scoring with his second of the game with ten minutes of the fixture remaining.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.

Photo: AFP 


Asian Football Confederation

Korea DPR 4-2 Uzbekistan

Pyongyang: Four first-half goals laid the foundations for DPR Korea’s second win of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers as the East Asians downed fellow 2015 AFC Asian Cup participants Uzbekistan 4-2 on Tuesday.

Meeting for the first time since the Uzbeks defeated the North Koreans 1-0 in the group stage of Australia 2015, DPR Korea went about atoning for that loss in Sydney with authority and the tie looked effectively over as a contest by the half-time interval, with Kim Chang-bok’s charges taking a 4-0 lead into the break.

The Chollima hit the ground running at the Kim Il-sung Stadium with Pak Kwang-ryong, who plays his club football in the Swiss Super League for Liechtenstein-based Vaduz, putting the home side 1-0 up with just four minutes played.

Pyongyang City FC defender Jang Kuk-chol doubled DPR Korea’s lead 12 minutes later and after Ro Hak-su had got his name on the scoresheet with the third in the 34th minute, Ri Hyok-chol put further distance between the two-time AFC Challenge Cup winners and the Uzbeks with number four two minutes later.

Igor Sergeev – scorer of the winning goal at Stadium Australia back in the Asian Cup meeting back in January – gave the Uzbeks a lifeline when he found the net eight minutes into the second half before Sardor Rashidov halved the deficit with Uzbekistan’s second with 11 minutes left to play.

However, an already difficult task was made even harder when Uzbekistan were reduced to ten men just a minute later when UAE-based midfielder Azizbek Haydarov picked up his second yellow card of the game after Malaysian referee Mohd Amirul Izwan Bin Yacoob had booked the Al Shabab midfielder with one minute of the first half remaining.

With a man less the Uzbeks were unable to make any further inroads in the final ten minutes as DPR Korea enjoyed their second win of the qualifiers following last week’s 1-0 win over Yemen in Qatar to see the Chollima lead the Group H standings with a 100% record.

The participating teams will compete according to a double round robin format, with the Round 2 qualification matches being held between June 11, 2015 and March 29, 2016.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.


Asian Football Confederation


ACL 2015 Play-off: Bunyodkor 2-1 Al Jazira

Tashkent: Goals by Vokhid Shodiev and Sardor Rashidov secured Bunyodkor an eighth consecutive appearance in the group stage of the AFC Champions League after the Uzbek side defeated UAE club Al Jazira 2-1 in the final round of the play-offs on Tuesday.

Forward Shodiev was on target midway through the first half at Bunyodkor Stadium only for Ali Mabkhout to draw the sides level from the penalty spot on the brink of half-time.

Rashidov, though, put the hosts back in front on the 52nd minute and the Tashkent club were able to see out the tie to take the final place in Group A alongside Saudi Arabian champions Al Nassr, Qatar Stars League winners Lekhwiya and Iran’s Persepolis.

Al Jazira, who had defender Khalid Sebil dismissed in stoppage time, meanwhile, missed out on a seventh consecutive appearance in the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

Bunyodkor had been boosted by the news that Al Jazira’s star foreign import and top scorer Mirko Vucinic was not in the matchday squad and the home side ran most of the early proceedings of the tie with Uzbekistan international Rashidov often the attacking outlet.

A succession of corner kicks from Rashidov pelted Khaled Al Senaani’s goal and it was from his free-kick wide on the right that the opener arrived as the 23-year-old’s whipped in-swinging delivery caused consternation in the Al Jazira backline.

And after Basheer Saeed’s attempted clearance ricocheted off the back of team-mate Abdulla Mousa, Shodiev was on hand to slide home past Al Senaani after the ball had fortunately dropped into his path.

Bunyodkor continued to look worthy of their lead, but on the stroke of half-time Al Jazira regained parity as Jonathan Pitropia was upended by Bunyodkor goalkeeper Akbar Turaev following a through ball from Mabkhout, who converted the resulting penalty.

But just seven minutes into the second half, Rashidov was again in the thick of the action as he latched onto a long ball over the top from Sato Minori and out-paced the flat-footed Al Jazira defence before deftly side-footing the ball into the top left-hand corner past Al Senaani.

The Emirati club strived to find an equaliser and Mabkhout looked the man most likely to haul them level as he squeezed past two Bunyodkor defenders on 66 minutes to go one-on-one with Turaev, but his angled shot across goal rolled wide of the far post.

Al Jazira were almost caught out at the other end of the pitch as second-half substitute Eldor Shomurodov sent a header narrowly wide with six minutes of the match remaining.

But the visitor’s chances of snatching an equaliser were dealt a final blow in the first minute of added time when Sebil received a red card for hauling down substitute Dostonbek Khamdamov when through on goal.

Bunyodkor, though, will see their AFC Champions League campaign continue as they travel to Saudi Arabia to face Al Nassr in Riyadh next Tuesday.


Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

Uzbeks send Saudis packing to set up Melbourne quarter-final with South Korea

January 18, 2015 – 10:07PM

Michael Lynch

Senior sports reporter with The Age

Uzbekistan 3 Saudi Arabia 1

Saudi Arabia's Abdulla Al-Dossary (second right) challenges Uzbekistan's Sardor Rashidov (second left), as Saudi Arabia's Nawaf Al-Abid (left) and Uzbekistan's Odil Akhmedov watch, during the Asian Cup Group B match on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia’s Abdulla Al-Dossary (second right) challenges Uzbekistan’s Sardor Rashidov (second left), as Saudi Arabia’s Nawaf Al-Abid (left) and Uzbekistan’s Odil Akhmedov watch, during the Asian Cup Group B match on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Uzbekistan saw off the challenge of  Saudi Arabia 3-1 in the final Group B game in Melbourne on Sunday night to set themselves up for an Asian Cup quarter-final meeting with South Korea at AAMI Park next Thursday.

Sardor Rashidov, with a brace, and Vokhid Shodiev were the Uzbek heroes, while Mohammed Al Sahlawi netted for the Saudis from a highly contentious penalty. Had the game been a draw, the Saudis would have qualified.

The Central Asian team  got off to the start they could only have dreamed of with a goal inside two minutes through Rashidov, one of a number of changes to the starting eleven made by coach Mirdjalal Kasimov following the Uzbeks’ 2-1 loss to China in their previous group game.

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Al Sahlawi celebrates after converting a penalty.

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al Sahlawi celebrates after converting a penalty. Photo: Reuters

The midfielder made and finished the goal himself, picking up the ball on the right and being alert enough to capitalise on some ricochets as the Saudis fluffed their clearance attempts. Rashidov drove into the penalty area and then angled a shot which, embarrassingly for Saudi goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah, went through his legs.

The Uzbeks, without their long-serving  skipper Server Djeparov, another to have been left out of the revamped line up,  began the game at a fierce tempo.

In contrast the Saudis looked as though they were still scratching the sleep from their eyes after a particularly long lie in, so ponderous was their movement in the opening 15 minutes.

Uzbekistan could really have put this game beyond Saudi Arabia’s range in the 12th minute after a wonderful piece of skill by Shukhrat Mukhammadiev. The defender got forward to support the attack and lobbed the ball over Saudi centre back Omar Howsawi before volleying just wide of the far post with Aleed beaten.

That, perhaps, was the wake-up call the Saudis needed. As if roused from their reverie, they stepped up several gears and began to impose themselves on their opponents.

Salman Alfaraj’s effort was blocked and Mohammed Al Sahlawi, who got two against the North Koreans, broke through several challengers before he too was denied.

The Saudis got the goal they needed just before the hour mark from the penalty spot, but it was a soft decision by Australian referee Ben Williams to award it when striker Naif Hazazi went to ground after minimal contact with defender Vitaly Denisov. Al Sahlawi tucked home the spot-kick to level the scores.

Rashidov then made space brilliantly with a wonderful turn on the edge of the penalty area only to be upended. His free kick was palmed out and the rebound slotted home, but referee Williams disallowed it for apparent interference by Anzur Ismaelov with Al Sahlawi while the pair were jostling in the wall.

The former Soviet Republic made amends for their grievances over Williams decisions in the 70th minute through substitute Vokhid Shodiev, who rose high at the far post to head home Mulladjanov’s swinging cross from the right.

Rashidov then wrapped things up with a calm finish past Waleed, and the Saudis knew their fate was sealed. They have now exited the Asian Cup at the group stage for the second time in a row.


Source: The Canberra Times