Asia AFC Asian Cup

Uzbekistan Squeeze into Quarterfinal with Win Over Thailand

On Tuesday, Uzbekistan secured a spot in the quarter-finals of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup with a 2-1 victory over Thailand at Al Janoub Stadium. This triumph marked Uzbekistan’s fifth appearance in the quarter-finals in six editions, setting up a captivating clash against defending champions Qatar at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday.

In a match where both teams initially approached cautiously, Uzbekistan gradually asserted dominance, creating scoring opportunities as the first half progressed. Oston Urunov played a pivotal role in their attacking efforts, orchestrating exchanges with Jaloliddin Masharipov. Despite missing a one-on-one chance with Thai keeper Patiwat Khammai, Urunov’s persistence paid off when Diyor Kholmatov’s well-timed pass set up Azizbek Turgunboev to score in the 37th minute.

Masatada Ishii introduced star players Supachok Sarachat and Suphanat Mueanta at the start of the second half, injecting much-needed attacking impetus for Thailand. Their efforts bore fruit just before the hour mark when Supachok’s one-two with Supchai Chaided led to a goal, leveling the score.

However, Uzbekistan quickly regained the lead seven minutes later as Jaloliddin Masharipov assisted Abbosbek Fayzullaev, who skillfully turned his marker and scored a stunning goal from 25 yards out.

Despite Thailand’s efforts, they struggled to create clear chances against Uzbekistan’s resilient defense. Additionally, the yellow card received by Abdukodir Khusanov, his second of the tournament, posed a concern as it ruled him out of the upcoming clash against Qatar.