AFC U-19 Qualifiers: Uzbekistan beats India 2-0

Both sides had their moments but the match remained goalless in the first half; the Uzbeks scored twice in the second half to pick up three points.

India and Uzbekistan in action at the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 qualifier in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.   -  AIFF MEDIA

 

India started its AFC U-19 Championship 2020 qualification campaign with a 2-0 loss against Uzbekistan in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.

Both sides had their moments but the match remained goalless in the first half. The Uzbeks scored twice in the second half to pick up three points.

An important source of attacking threat for India was fullback Muhammed Rafi with his booming long throws into the penalty area. It almost paid dividends at the first attempt in the 16th minute with Uzbekistan needing a desperate clearance to get rid of the danger.

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In the second half, Uzbekistan won a free-kick in a tricky spot in the 52nd minute. The shot hit the Indian wall and the ball went out of play. A minute later, Khoshimov Ulugbek opened the scoring for the team in white, converting a low cross from the right.

Gill produced a fine save in the 63rd minute as he pushed away a powerful effort from long range from Rakhimkulov Diyorbek. However, he could not do much as the Uzbeks scored again – this time through Olimjonov Muzaffar, who scored with a first-time volley from close range as the ball came in from a corner kick.

India will take on host Saudi Arabia at the same venue on Friday.

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