Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

AFC: Uzbekistan and Qatar through to quarter-finals

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on January 16, 2011

AFC Asian Cup 2011 logoIn the 2011 AFC Asian Cup today hosts Qatar join Group A table-toppers Uzbekistan into the quarter-finals of the competition. Uzbekistan needed only a point from their game against China to secure progress whilst Qatar needed all three points in their final group game against Kuwait.

Hosts Qatar were desperate to go beyond the group stage in their second hosting of this tournament and they started their game against Kuwait in fine fashion scoring twice in the first quarter of an hour. Bilal Mohammed got the first on 12 minutes with a header from close range getting the better of Kuwait keeper Nawaf Al Khaldi whose misery was increased just three minutes later when he and his defence were unable to deal with the Qatari attack as Mohamed El Sayed scored the second after much uncertainty in the box. The game was a pretty comfortable affair for Qatar in the end as they were able to resist any attempts at goal from Kuwait and sealed the deal with four minutes of the game to go when a free-kick from Fábio César Montezine made it three for the hosts.

Uzbekistan were pretty much certain of a place in the last eight but made sure of their progression as group winners in an entertaining 2-2 draw against China. Yu Hai gave the Chinese the lead when heading home a fifth minute corner at the near post. Uzbekistan restored parity on the half hour mark when Odil Ahmedov slotted the ball home inside the six yard box and the game was turned on its head in the 46th minute when the Uzbeks made it 2-1 thanks to an unstoppable long-range strike from Alexander Geynrikh. But China didn’t take long to get back on level terms following a fantastic free-kick from Hao Junmin in the 55th minute, scoring what was arguably the best goal of a thrilling encounter.

Uzbekistan finished the group with seven points from three games, one more than fellow qualifiers Qatar, and they await the outcome of tomorrow’s games in Group B before knowing who they will face in the next round.

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