Uzbekistan edge Oman in Asian Cup thriller

SHARJAH, JAN 9 – Uzbekistan edged a fighting Oman 2-1 in the Asian Cup 2019 Group F clash at the Sharjah Stadium on Wednesday. Oman came back into the match in the second half after trailing 1-0 in the first half. Uzbekistan netted the winner through Eldor Shomurodov in the 84th minute.
Muhsen al Ghassani found the equaliser for Oman after enormous pressure applied by the Pim Verbeek-coached side in the second half.
Al Ghassani sweetly collected the through pass from Ali al Busaidi in the left flank and dribbled past Uzbek goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov to place the ball inside the right-hand corner of the net in the 73rd minute.
Uzbekistan took the lead again in the 84th minute after a fast-paced breakaway move by substitutes Ikromjon Alibaev and Eldor Shomurodov, who deftly went past Mohammed al Musallami to find the target. The goal shattered Oman’s hopes of earning a point from their opening match as Uzbekistan collected all three from the game.
In the first half, Uzbekistan netted first in the match against the run of play.
From a free-kick outside the Oman penalty area, Uzbek captain and star player Odil Akhmedov powered the ball past a diving Fayez al Rushaidi into the right-hand corner of the Omani goal.
Uzbekistan was awarded the free-kick after defender Khalid al Braiki brought down Uzbek forward Marat Bikmaev in the 33rd minute.
Earlier, Oman made the first organised move of the match in the 14th minute when captain Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’ sent a long pass to Mohsin Jawher who in turn put in the ball to the Uzbek goalmouth. Defender Anzur Ismailov put out the ball for a first corner to Oman.
Mohsin Jawher’s corner was well connected by Ahmed Mubarak with a good header towards Uzbek goal only for a reflex save by goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov and Jaloliddin Masharipov cleared the ball out of danger.
In the 24th minute, Oman’s Khalid al Hajri and Raed Saleh failed to connect a nice cross in the Uzbek penalty area.
In the 30th minute, Masharipov received a yellow card for a tackle on Omani forward Jameel al Yahmadi.
Oman got another corner in the 38th minute but failed to make any impact.
Towards the end of first-half, Ali al Busaidi won a corner after his solo effort on the left flank.
Mohammed al Musallami made a brilliant effort with a carpet diving shot but Uzbek custodian Nesterov came up with another reflex save to deny Oman.
In the second half, Oman pressed hard for an equaliser but Saad al Mukhaini was unable to make a shot just near the Uzbek penalty box.
In the 56th minute, Mohsin al Khaldi’s shot went over the bar after Oman got a free kick outside the left corner of Uzbek penalty box.
In the next minute, Uzbek goalkeeper Nesterov was booked for time wasting.
Then Uzbekistan coach Hector Cuper made the first substitution. Striker Sardor Rashidov was replaced by defensive midfielder Dostonbek Khashimov.
Verbeek brought in Muhsen al Ghassani and Mohammed al Ghassani in place of Khalid al Hajri and Jameel al Yahmadi respectively.
In the 91st minute, Uzbek defender Egor Kirmets got a red card after a foul on Oman’s Muhsen al Ghassani.
Al Ghassani’s resultant free kick was punched away by the Uzbek goalkeeper to avoid any danger.
Oman’s next match is against Japan on January 13 in Abu Dhabi.