Uzbekistan advances to Asian Cup semifinals
Uzbekistan advanced to the Asian Cup semifinals for the first
time by beating Jordan 2-1 on Friday after two goals by forward
Ulugbek Bakaev within four minutes.
Bakaev scored in the 46th and 49th minutes for Uzbekistan,
before Bashar Bani Yaseen cut Jordan’s deficit in the 58th at
Doha’s Khalifa stadium.
”Big, experienced player, I know him well,” Uzbekistan coach
Vadim Abramov said of Bakaev. ”I give him a chance, he scores two
Uzbekistan will play either Australia or Iraq in one of
”Which one, it doesn’t matter,” Abramov said. ”Now is good to
rest first and then look at what is missing. Many players are tired
already. We’ll look at what we can do.”
Uzbekistan was in its third straight quarterfinal, while Jordan
was also seeking to make it to the last four for the first
Abramov said his team’s ambition is to win the tournament.
”Yes, why not? From first time I came to a press conference, I
tell you we come to win this tournament,” he said.
Bakaev, one of the five new men in Uzbekistan’s starting lineup,
stunned Jordan with two quick goals.
For the first, he connected with a long free kick from captain
Server Djeparov behind the defense to head in unopposed from six
meters out. Three minutes later, Jasur Khasanov sent a low cross
into Jordan’s penalty area and Bakaev struck the ball with his left
foot to beat goalkeeper Amer Shafi for the second time.
Jordan got back into the match when Bashar Bani Yaseen scored
from close range. Teammate Shadi Abu-Hashhash’s header from a
corner was saved on the line by goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov, but
Bashar slammed the loose ball into the net.
”I am very proud of my players for what they have delivered,”
Jordan coach Adnan Hamad said. ”They lost focus and concentration
in the first five minutes of the second half, but after that we
scored and got back on track and were very near to a draw. The
determination was there but they were affected by fatigue.
”Fatigue and exhaustion was there, and we are missing four
first-team players. Anyway we’re out with our heads held high. The
determination was there but they were affected by fatigue.”
Nesterov and Shafi distinguished themselves in the first half,
both making several good saves.
In the 23rd, Geynrikh tested Shafi with a long-range shot but
the Jordan goalkeeper tipped the ball over. On the other side,
Nesterov was forced into a similar save to stop a free kick from
Jordan midfielder Hasan Abdel-Fattah’s volley beat Nesterov but
went just wide of the post in the 27th minute of an open game.
Shafi made a more crucial save in the 43rd, pushing away a
close-range effort from Geynrikh.
Uzbekistan’s sweeping move began in midfield and the ball was
moved down the right flank, with Tursunov sending over a dipping
cross. Geynrikh connected with the tip of his left boot, but Shafi
dived to parry the shot.
Uzbekistan lost Nesterov to an injury in the 62nd, with Temur
Juraev replacing him. The team also lost influential forward
Alexander Geynrikh to injury.
Uzbekistan forward Sanjar Tursunov missed an open goal with
seven minutes remaining.
Uzbekistan: Ignatiy Nesterov (Temur Juraev, 62); Shavkatjon
Mulladjanov, Sakhob Juraev, Azizbek Haydarov, Server Djeparov, Odil
Akhmedov, Timur Kapadze, Jasur Khasanov (Stanislav Andreev, 57),
Ulugbek Bakaev, Alexander Geynrikh (Anzur Ismailov, 71), Sanjar
Jordan: Amer Shafi, Mohammad Monir, Suliman al-Salman, Mohammad
al-Dmeiri, Bashir Bani Yaseen, Shadi Abu-Hashhash (Abdullah Deeb,
63), Baha’ Abdelrahman, Amer Deeb, Hasan Abdel-Fattah, Ahmad
Abdelhalim, Moyad Abukeshek (Anas Hijah, 77).