Disastrous start for young cubs
TASHKENT – Hosts Uzbekistan made the ideal start to this year’s AFC U-16 Championship after breezing to a comfortable 7-0 win over Singapore at Pakhtakor Stadium on Saturday.
Uzbekistan took the lead after nine minutes through Abdumutallib Abdullaev’s spot kick before Ayubhon Gapparov made it 2-0 after 20 minutes and just two minutes later Maksim Utkin scored his side’s third goal.
The Uzbeks added a fourth in the 79th minute through substitute striker Aleksandr Galeev before Abdumutallib Abdullaev continued the rout with another after 86 minutes.
Galeev scored his second goal on the night three minutes later and Utkin completed the scoring in the 90th minute.
Uzbekistan got off to a fine start when they were awarded an early penalty after Oyatullahon Muhiddinov was fouled by Singapore defender Kenneth Chang and Abdumutallib Abdullaev scored from the spot.
Boosted by the goal, Uzbekistan attacked with confidence and should have doubled their lead after 15 minutes when Maksim Utkin edged Muhammad Shahfiq before shooting wide.
But the second soon came when Ayubhon Gapparov beat Muhammad Firman to the ball before going down the left side of the area then scoring with a powerful shot in the 20th minute.
Just two minutes later it was 3-0 as Utkin let fly with a right-foot shot from 25-yards that sailed into the top right corner and past the helpless Cubs keeper Ng Jia Fa.
Singapore had a chance to pull a goal back after 58 minutes when Ali Hudzaifi’s shot from outside the area was put behind for a corner by Uzbekistan custodian Oybek Talipov.
The hosts went close in the 67th minute when Ayubhon Gapparov’s effort hit the upright before Bobur Abdurakhmonov’s follow-up was diverted for a corner by Ng.
However, Uzbekistan added the fourth goal in the 79th minute when Abdumutallib Abdullaev’s cross beat the Singapore keeper and substitute striker Aleksandr Galeev made no mistake with the goal at his mercy.
Uzbekistan scored a fifth goal with four minutes left on the clock as Akramjon Bahritdinov sent a free kick from defence that was headed home by Abdumutallib Abdullaev.
There was still time to add two more goals as Galeev received a neat pass inside the area and though he initially hit the left upright he followed up to put the ball into the net with one minute remaining.
Utkin then capped off a fine night for Uzbekistan with a seventh goal in the 90th minute with a powerful shot from outside the area.
Singapore will face Bahrain at 11pm(Sin time) today and Iran 8 October at 6pm(Sin time).
You can catch the AFC Under 16 Championship live at Saudi Sport TV.