Wednesday, 24/04/2024 08:03

Việt Nam lose to Uzbekistan in last group match; face Iraq in the quarters

Nguyễn Đức Việt (8)'s debut in the tournament did not go well, as 
Jasurbek Jaloliddinov (10) and teammates were too much for the Young Warriors to handle. Photo AFC

DOHA Việt Nam lost 0-3 to Uzbekistan in the final match of Group D in the 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup.

A brace from Alisher Odilov, and a goal by Ruslanbek Jiyanov, all in the first half, was enough to seal first place for the 2022 runners-up.

Both teams had already qualified to the quarter final stage before the match, and the result will only determine their opponent in the next round.

Only three players from the 2-0 win against Malaysia started for Việt Nam, as Hoàng Anh Tuấn rotated most of his squad to rest his players and avoid additional suspensions, which could carry to the next round.

Uzbekistan also rotated their squad, but the gap in abilities were still present. In the fourth minute, the White Wolves opened the scoreing, after a clever play from the right wing. Ibrokhim Ibragimov sneaked past Vietnamese defenders and hit a great cross to the unmarked Odilov, who tapped into the empty net.

The dominance of Uzbekistan's Golden Generation continued during the first half, and Việt Nam were physically outmatched, losing almost every duel.

In the 36th minute, in a similar play as the opening goal, Jiyanov cleverly broke the offside trap to fire a vicious shot to the bottom left corner, doubling the lead for the team in white.

Four minutes later, Odilov completed his brace with a textbook header, after a great cross from Mirsaidov. The first half ended with three goals and three points in the bag for Uzbekistan.

Tuấn brought on starters Bùi Vĩ Hào, Khuất Văn Khang, Võ Hoàng Minh Khoa, and Nguyễn Văn Trường in the second half. Though Uzbekistan still have control of the match, the number of clear chances was lower.

Near the end, Uzbekistan had two clear chances to widen the deficit. In the 74th minute, Ibrokhim Ibragimov sneaked inside the box and fire a shot towards Nguyễn Văn Việt's goal, but was denied by the woodwork.

In the 88th minute, Abbosbek Fayzullaev fell inside Việt Nam's penalty area and the South Korean referee went to VAR for a review. No penalty was given for Uzbekistan however, as Fayzullaev's teammate was offside in the preceding play. The match ended in a 0-3 loss for Việt Nam.

With this result, Việt Nam advanced as Group D runners-up, and will face Group C winners Iraq in the quarter finals. Uzbekistan will face Saudi Arabia in a rematch of the 2022 final.

"We will reflect on this match and train to prepare for the next game," said defender Lương Duy Cương in the post-match interview.

Việt Nam will face Iraq at midnight Saturday, in a match where the winner opens up the chance to qualify for the 2024 Olympics. VNS

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