Five different goalscorers and a consummate display throughout helped secure the much-needed victory for Uzbekistan, one which should go some way towards easing memories of the White Wolves’ surprise 2-0 loss to Palestine in their opening game en route to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
As recently installed head coach Vadim Abramov watched on from the sidelines, Uzbekistan started brightly at the Pakhtakor Stadium and their early endeavours were duly rewarded when Sanjar Kodirkulov expertly converted Dostonbek Khamdamov’s pinpoint pass within the first two minutes.
Despite seeing Yemen growing in confidence after their early setback, Uzbekistan continued to press and came close to extending their lead shortly before the half-hour mark. FC Rostov forward Eldor Shomurodov rising highest to head Farrukh Sayfiev’s cross beyond Saeed’s despairing dive.
Uzbekistan maintained their grip on the game after the break and they extended their lead on 53 minutes when Iskanderov’s long-range drive found the net after Yemen had failed to clear Jaloliddin Masharipov’s free-kick.
Roared on by the passionate Uzbekistan fans, Abramov’s charges continued to shine and, after Saeed had denied Khamdamov from close-range, Islom Tukhtakhujaev made it 4-0 by heading home a looping Masharipov corner.
Igor Sergeev rounded off the scoring in the 90th minute with an easy finish from three yards as Uzbekistan handed Abramov an ideal start to his second stint in charge of the national team.
World Cup Qualification AFC 2nd Round Grp. D Matchday 3