AFC U-23 Championship | India loses 0-3 to Uzbekistan in qualifier

AFC U-23 Championship | India loses 0-3 to Uzbekistan in qualifier

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Defending champions Uzbekistan defeated India by 3-0 goals in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers in Tashkent on Friday. The home team skipper Islomjon Kobilov gave a lead in the first half while Bobir Abdixolikov scored a brace in the second half to seal the match for Uzbekistan.

Although India started off well in the game with Daniel getting a cross from Rahul KP, who had received the ball on the flank from Anwar Ali, the home team got the first goal of the game in the first half itself. Uzbekistan pressed up high after the initial passage of the game and Alijanov Ilkhomjon had got the ball inside the box with an opportunity of giving them a lead but Vinit Rai’s block helped the Indians keep the score alevel.

However, Uzbekistan found the first goal in the injury time of the first half when they were awarded a penalty kick and their skipper Kobilov found the back of the net to take the side to a 1-0 lead at the half-time.

Uzbekistan started the second half with an aggressive note after the lead but it was India who had another chance to. Daniel failed to put the ball in for an equaliser after receiving the ball from substitute Komat Thatal’s cross. 

The hosts continued creating chances in the second half but centre-back Gaurav Bora stood up to the challenge to save Dheeraj Singh from conceding more goals. Abdixolikov, however, managed to breach through the Indian defence to double the lead for Uzbekistan in the last 10 minutes of the game. Abdixolikov, who had come in as a substitute in the second half, scored his second and team’s third goal five minutes later to make it a comfortable 3-0 for them. 

Thatal came up with a last attempt to register his name on the score sheet but failed to make a mark as his shot after a brilliant run from the left flank hit the post. The Indian under 23 team will now play its final qualifier on Sunday against Tajikistan.

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