Qatar Football AssociationNational Teams | U-23
09.01.2018 16:59 in : &

Changzhou, China: Almoez Ali’s second half strike proved the difference

as Qatar recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Uzbekistan in their AFC U23

Championship 2018 opener at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Centre on

Tuesday.

The Duhail forward’s goal leaves Qatar second in Group A behind

table-topping China PR who beat Oman 3-0 in the day’s earlier game.

In a closely fought first half, it was Uzbekistan who dominated the early

proceedings, Zabikhillo Urinboev firing inches over following a neat

interchange of passes with Dostonbek Khamdamov on the edge of the

area after 14 minutes.

Qatar responded well however, with dynamic captain Ahmad Moein, a

member of the squad when his country finished fourth at the tournament’s

last edition in 2016, fizzing a shot narrowly wide shortly after the half hour

mark.

With Qatar clearly growing in confidence, midfielder Salem Al Hajri then

rattled the Uzbekistan bar with a rasping drive from distance as the

opening period came to an entertaining close.

Urinboev headed just wide of the target from a pinpoint Javokhir Sidikov

free-kick shortly after the restart, before Qatar took the lead on 55 minutes

in stunning fashion.

A swift move down the right saw the impressive Hashim Ali break into

the box and deliver a delightful cross that the advancing Almoez rifled

into the net past the despairing dive of Uzbekistan goalkeeper Dilshod

Khamraev.

As Uzbekistan desperately pushed for an equaliser, successive Qatari

counter-attacks saw Khamraev deny both Hisham and, in the game’s

dying embers, substitute Khaled Mohammed.

Qatar’s next outing comes on Friday when they face Oman, while

Uzbekistan will tackle host nation China.

Qatar line-up: Mohammed Al Bakri, Tarek Salman, Tammem Al Muhaiza,

Bassam Al Rawi, Abdullah Al Ahrak, Ahmed Moein, Sultan Al Berek, Akram

Afif, Hisham Ali, Salem Al Hajr and Al Moez Ali

Substitutes: Mishal Al Shammari and Khalid Mohammed