AFC U-16: Uzbekistan wins 5-3 against Thailand

Rasul Yuldoshov netted a hat-trick as Uzbekistan kicked off its AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 campaign with a 5-3 victory over Thailand in its Group D opener on Saturday at GMC Stadium.

Uzbekistan got off to a winning start in the AFCU-16 Championships.   -  Special Arrangement

Rasul Yuldoshov netted a hat-trick as Uzbekistan kicked off its AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 campaign with a 5-3 victory over Thailand in its Group D opener on Saturday at GMC Stadium.

Jinnawat Russamee opened the scoring with only two minutes on the clock before Abubakir Muyidnov and Rasul Yuldoshov replied from the penalty spot to put Uzbekistan 2-1 up at the break.

Yuldoshov added his second to extend the lead before the hour-mark but Arnon Prasongporn reduced the deficit immediately after. With the scoreline at 3-2, the game was set for a tense finish until first Mardon Abdullaev struck on 84 minutes and then Yuldoshov completed his treble five minutes later.

Arnon did get his second in stoppage time but it was Uzbekistan who joined DPR Korea at the top of the Group D table after the East Asians earlier defeated Yemen 2-0 at GMC Stadium.

Despite starting the match with three suspended players, Thailand began proceedings in explosive fashion as it took the lead after just two minutes.

Songwut Kraikruan's long pass up-field made its way to the onrushing Jinnawat after a slip by defender Islom Karimov and the Thailand striker finished coolly past Abduvakhid Nematov.

Uzbekistan had a chance to draw level on the quarter-hour mark, but goalkeeper Wutthipong Thiangthae dived to his right to save Asadbek Sobirjonov's free-kick from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

But just under 10 minutes later, the Central Asians restored parity after Wudtichai Kumkeam handled in the penalty area and Muydinov slotted home the resulting spot-kick.

Oston Urunov could have completed the turnaround on 29 minutes but his shot from 20 yards out flashed inches wide of Wutthipong's left-hand post.

Uruonov then went close to turning provider as the Uzbekistan captain chipped an exquisite through ball to Abdullaev but the full-back sliced his shot wide.

Although on top for much of the first half, Uzbekistan didn't have it all its own way, and Songwut perhaps should have connected with Jinnawat's dangerous 43rd-minute free-kick as he stole into the area unmarked.

But it was Timur Alimkhodjayev's team who went into the interval ahead as Yuldoshov put his side 2-1 up following another successfully converted penalty after Gayrat Azizkhodjaev had his heels clipped in the area by Nititorn Sripraman.

Just six minutes into the second half, referee Khamis Al Kuwari signalled for another penalty after Jinnawat was brought down in the box by Nematov, but the goalkeeper came out on top in the subsequent spot-kick as he threw himself to his right to deny Songwut.

And Uzbekistan then extended its lead as Yuldoshov netted his second of the night after he flicked on Sobirjonov's wickedly in-swinging free-kick from the left.

The two-goal cushion did not last for long, though, as Nititorn's cross was swept home by substitute Arnon on 58 minutes.

The 65th minute should have brought with it Uzbekistan's fourth goal but Doniyor Abdummanopov somehow turned Urunov's cross onto the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

With eight minutes remaining, though, the young White Wolves did make the score 4-2 as Abdullaev surged down the right flank before drilling his shot across Wutthipong and into the far right-hand corner of the net.

And time remained for first Yuldoshov to fire home his third of the night as Urunov squared to leave him with a tap-in before Arnon made the final score 5-3 after being slipped in by Hassawat Nopnate.

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