Doha, October 16 (QNA) – Uzbekistan on Tuesday relied on a first-half strike to beat hosts Qatar 1-0 in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium. Twenty-five-year-old Sanjar Turnusov volleyed home in the 13th minute to help Uzbekistan open their account in Group A.
The loss left Qatar with just 4 points from as many matches. Visitors Uzbekistan now have five points from four matches. Korea, Iran and Lebanon are the three sides in the group. Only two teams will go to the next stage of qualifying. Qatar have four matches to go in the rest of the qualifying phase that will end next summer.
In the eight minute, diminutive striker Khalfan Ibrahim curled in a swinging corner but Sebatian Soria’s deflection went past the far goalpost with the Uzbekistan goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov well beaten in flight.
However, Uzbekistan, after settling down, broke the deadlock with a well-oiled move in the 13th minute.
Akmal Shorakhmedov chipped in a long chip pass for Turnusov who deflected the ball first time from the edge of the box.
In the 23rd minute, Qatar’s Mohammed Razzaq headed with his back to the Uzbek goal but the ball went high before falling on the roof of the net, just centimeters past the crossbar.
With tempers fraying, Qatar’s Lawrence Quaye was booked for bringing down Server Djeparov just after the half-line.
In the dying seconds of the first half, Qatar’s Wisam Rizq produced a back-headed deflection on a looping free-kick but the ball was carried away by Uzbekistan goalkeeper Nesterov.
At the one-hour mark, Soria jumped high for a deflection from close range but the tall Qatari striker lost his balance after being pulled down by an Uzbekistan defender.
Later in the second half, Uzbekistan easily played time out. (QNA)