White Wolves were all business from the first blow of the whistle with Dostonbek Khamdamov’s header hitting the ground before just rebounding over the crossbar in the fifth minute.
Uzbekistan continued to push and a counter-attack in the 16th minute caught the Turkmenistan backline off-guard as skipper Odil Akhmedov led the charge, with a string of passes ending with Javokhir Sidikov sliding the ball into an unguarded goalmouth.
Eight minutes later, Turkmenistan lost the ball in midfield with Otabek Shukurov sending a through pass down the middle to Eldor Shomurodov, whose right-footed effort made its way past ‘keeper Mammet Orazmuhammedov.
Five minute before the break, Gurbangeldi Batyrov’s poor clearance allowed Jaloliddin Masharipov to let fly a half-volley to make it 3-0.
Less than two minutes later, Masharipov turned provider with his pass finding Shomurodov, and the 23-year-old forward displayed excellent footwork before scoring his second of the night.
Asian Cup Grp. F Matchday 2
Stadium: Rashid Stadium 4354 spectators
Referee: Ammar Al-Jeneibi
The onus was on Yazguly Hojageldiyev’s side to reduce their deficit, but the White Wolves continued pressing, forcing Orazmuhammedov to make a double save in the 55th minute.
With the three points in the bag, Uzbekistan chose to slow down as their thoughts shifted towards what promises to be an epic match against Japan at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Thursday.