Arslanmurat Amanov targeting all three points from the Uzbekistan encounter
Amanov opened the scoring for the Central Asians with an impressive first-half thunderbolt, before Japan netted three times after the break to seal a win following what had proved to be a stern test for the four-time Asian champions.
Despite the defeat, and given that Turkmenistan still have two group stage games to play, hope continues to spring eternal for Yazguly Hojageldiyev’s charges – with Amanov now targeting all three points from the Uzbekistan encounter.
“Of course, the Japan team is a strong one and we expected that they would perform well,” declared the 28-year-old who plays his club football in Uzbekistan.
“I believe our team did very well and that we did as much as possible, although we know every game here at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 is very difficult. Our next game against Uzbekistan is very important, and, of course, want to get a win.
“The match is a Central Asian derby, so we will try our best to get a good result. Our good performance against Japan will give us a degree of energy and a boost, something which we hope can help in the match to come.”
Commenting on his wonderful strike, Amanov added: “I was quite confident of shooting from that kind of distance, because I’ve already scored several goals like that before in my career.
“I feel comfortable taking a shot from there. I saw that no one was closing me down and thought why not have a go, and that’s what happened.”