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Asian Cup 2015: Uzbekistan Clinches Spot in Quarter-Finals

Asian Cup 2015: Uzbekistan Clinches Spot in Quarter-FinalsAsian Cup 2015: Uzbekistan Clinches Spot in Quarter-Finals

Uzbekistan sealed progression to the Asian Cup knockout stages with a 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia in Melbourne on Sunday.

According to Abc.net.au, going into the game, Saudi Arabia was in pole position with the better goal difference, needing only a draw to advance to the last eight. However the Green Falcons’ defense let them down, repeatedly caught out by their opponents.

The match was barely 90 seconds when Saudi Arabia gave away possession in its own half, allowing Sardor Rashidov to race into the penalty area and slot the ball between the legs of hapless keeper Waleed Abdullah to make it 1-0.

The Saudis had the advantage in possession for most of the match, but they could not take advantage until the 60th minute, when they were awarded a dubious penalty for a foul in the box. Mohammed al Sahlawi stepped up and scored from the spot, to put his side back in charge of its own destiny.

Ten minutes later, however, the Uzbeks hit back - the ball was crossed in from the right, and Abdullah was nowhere near as substitute Vokhid Shodiev powered a header into the net to make it 2-1.

Uzbekistan made sure of the points with 11 minutes left, when the side burst free down the Saudi right, and centered the ball to Rashidov, who placed a great finish wide of Abdullah for his second of the night.

The win gave Uzbekistan second place in the group, and a quarter-final clash with Group A winners South Korea.

Group A runners-up Australia will face China in the last eight after China defeated North Korea 2-1 to take maximum points from its three matches.

 

Financialtribune.com