Turkmenistan 0 Uzbekistan 4: Group F leaders cruise into Asian Cup last 16

By Patric Ridge 14 January 2019 71
Turkmenistan 0 Uzbekistan 4: Group F leaders cruise into Asian Cup last 16

Uzbekistan cruised through to the Asian Cup knockout stages on Sunday, moving top of Group F with an impressive 4-0 win over Turkmenistan. 

Turkmenistan coach Yazguly Hojageldyev had urged his side to cut out the mistakes following their 3-2 loss to Japan, yet his message seemingly fell on deaf ears as Uzbekistan ran riot in the first half. 

Javokhir Sidikov got the rout started after 17 minutes by sliding in to convert Dostonbek Khamdamov's cut-back cross, with Eldor Shomurodov doubling the lead soon after. 

And perhaps spurred on by Qatar's 6-0 thrashing of North Korea in Group E earlier in the day, Uzbekistan wrapped up the game with two goals in as many minutes before the interval. 

Jaloliddin Masharipov expertly drilled home a loose ball to make it 3-0 before Shomurodov coolly rounded Turkmenistan's goalkeeper to grab his second of the game in the 42nd minute.

Otabek Shukurov almost added another with a venomous long-range effort midway through the second half, but the upright sparred Turkmenistan further humiliation. 

With progression into the last 16 secured, Uzbekistan's focus will now switch to their final group game against Japan, who have also already qualified, with top spot in the group up for grabs. 

As for Turkmenistan, they must beat Oman – who are also yet to pick up a point in this year's tournament - to stand a chance of going through as one of the best third-placed teams.

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