The start of the second phase of games. Winning will give you a massive chance to advance, lose your second game and you’re likely to be going home. Uzbekistan after their win against Qatar could advance to the next round win a victory.
Uzbekistan started well, a lovely passing move saw the ball played out to Sanjar Tursunov his crossed made it’s way to the back post where Odil Akhmedov was caught by surprise and he couldn’t direct his header on target.
Unfortunately for Kuwait they couldn’t even create what would be known as a half chance, maybe quarter chances if you really wanted to.
It was left to Uzbek legend Maksim Shatskikh to open the scoring. Kuwait conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box, Shatskikh tried to place it betweet the two Uzbek players in the wall, the kick came off one of the players backs changing direction leaving Nawaf Al Khaldi with no chance.
Kuwait came out from the break firing on all cylinders; Fahad Awad charged down the left and fired in a dangerous cross. Hamad Nayef on at the break won the header but could only direct it over the bar.
Minutes later Kuwait made the breakthrough; Walied Ali cut inside and found Nayef in the area. Anzur Ismailov mistimed his tackle and brought Nayef down in the box. A definite penalty and a great chance for Kuwait to save their tournament.
Bader Al Mutwa stepped up and calmly placed the ball into the corner of the net, sending Ignatiy Nesterov the wrong way.
Server Djeparov then took the game by the horns, picking up the ball in midfield, he then played it wide to Jasur Khasanov on the left, Djeparov continued his run, Khasanov cut the ball back to him and Djeparov smashed a fantastic first time left footed effort past Al Khaldi the Kuwaiti keeper had no chance. A superb goal which he then celebrated in style with his customary back flips.
With ten minutes left Kuwait tried to find an equaliser and substitute Ahmad Ajab Alzemi should have scored that goal. Bader Al Mutwa played a long ball from near the half way line, Alzemi ghosted into the box he went for the spectacular volley, unfortunately his shin got in the way and he spooned it over the bar.
Uzbekistan deserved the win in the end but Kuwait had their chances in the second half, their first half let themselves down.
Uzbekistan coach Vadim Abramov warned other teams of his teams chances in the tournament.
“This is a big tournament, who wins this tournament is the best team. Every team at this tournament is very strong and I hope the quality of the football does not get less,” he said.
“I think we can cause some surprises and I hope Uzbekistan will be champion in this tournament, but there are many other good teams here so it will be difficult, but I hope it will be Uzbekistan.”
Kuwait coach Goran Tufegdzic said that experience was the key to his teams troubles.
“Now this is a very bad feeling, Our team lost this match but we have one match remaining against Qatar. Our target is to win that match and pick up our first three points of the tournament.
“Maybe my players need more experience but what can you do, these things happen and one thing is for sure is that these players have a good future.
“Our team lost many chances against Kuwait but they are very young; the average age of our squad is under 23.
“You saw today our team have the players to get a good result but they need experience.”
The Uzbeki team now need only a point from their final game against China to secure their place in the last eight. Kuwait need a miracle if they are to progress, looks very unlikely.