Outstanding Uzbekistan stun defending champions Japan in the AFC U23 Championship China 2018 quarter-finals with a comprehensive 4-0 win at the Jiangyin Sports Center Stadium on Friday.
Uzbekistan showcased a dominant display of football and raced to a comfortable three-goal lead in the first half, before Jasurbek Yakhshiboev sealed the win with his second goal of the game after the break.
Before the match began, both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of the Uzbekistan citizens who perished in the recent bus fire in Kazakhstan.
Uzbekistan, well aware of Japan’s quality, applied pressure from the start and didn’t give the young Samurai Blue any space to move freely.
The early aggression gave Uzbekistan the lion’s share of possession, forcing Japan to play on the counter.
Ryosuke Kojima was definitely the busier goalkeeper, fending off close attempts from Zabikhillo Urinboev and Dostonbek Khamdamov, but Javokhir Sidikov opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a shot from outside the box.
Just four minutes later, Khamdamov doubled their lead when he latched onto a back pass to Kojima and slid the ball in from close range, before Yakhshiboev found the back of the net in the 39th minute.
Even with a comfortable lead, Ravshan Khaydarov’s side continued to pile on the pressure, and Yakhshiboev scored his second just two minutes into the second half to make it 4-0.
Uzbekistan will meet the winners of the Korea Republic and Malaysia quarter-final tie at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium on Tuesday, January 23.