Ten-man Uzbekistan defeated Australia and sealed their spot in the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship on Tuesday evening as Jasur Abduraimov’s side outclassed the Young Socceroos in a 3-2 win at Khalifa Sports City Stadium.
Doston Ibragimov scored twice after Bobir Abdixolikov opened the scoring to move the Uzbeks onto six points and into top spot in Group D, two points ahead of the Australians and Tajikistan.
Uzbekistan went down to ten men after Islomjon Kobilov’s sending off 11 minutes into the second half for a second bookable offence which gave the Australians a glimmer of hope.
The referee showed the spot twice for Australia first in the 63rd minute after a clear dive from George Blackwood and in the 94th minute with a unintended handball by an Uzbek defender.
With wins against both the Australians and the Tajiks, Uzbekistan are guaranteed a place in the tournament’s last eight and awaiting for their opponent for quarter-final, the runner-up of group.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Uzbekistan coach Jasur Abduraimov
"Everybody saw today that it was a very difficult game against a strong team. I’m proud of my players, that they concentrated from the beginning of the game to the last minutes. They showed great character and it was an important three points for us and I’m very happy because the players showed a lot of character.
"Now we will concentrate only on the next game, that’s all we are thinking about. We want to show our maximum in each game."
Australia coach Ufuk Talay
"Tonight we got punished for our mistakes. I still think we played quite well at times and we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and we had chances to score. Of course we’re never happy losing games but we have everything to play for in the next game.
"I think Uzbekistan’s structure defensively was quite good and we found it hard to get behind them. It was because of our defensive errors that we conceded goals. It was one of those games where we didn’t create enough and we weren’t clinical enough, but that’s football."