Uzbekistan beat Kyrgyzstan with a 3-1 win in Tashkent

Both sides used the match to prepare for key Asian Qualifiers in the week ahead, with Uzbekistan to host Saudi Arabia on Thursday, while Kyrgyz Republic are set to face Japan in Bishkek.

Pakhtakor duo Igor Sergeev and Dostonbek Khamdanov made the most of their familiar surrounds to find the back of the net before Jamshid Iskanderov slotted an excellent third for Uzbekistan, with Farkhat Musabkeov getting his name on the scoresheet for the visitors, who remain winless in eight attempts against their neighbours.

With star striker Eldor Shumurodov absent due to Russian Premier League commitments, Sergeev led the line for Uzbekistan, and it took just 11 minutes for him to make his presence felt, slamming the ball into the back of the net from just inches out after a cross from debutant Abror Ismoilov evaded everyone including Kyrgyz Republic goalkeeper Pavel Matiash.

Sergeev nearly doubled his tally when he fired over the crossbar after a neat one-two with Sanjar Kodirkulov, but it was the visitors who were next to score, with Musabekov credited for their 30th-minute equaliser.

The Kyrgyz Republic reply came following an Edgar Bernhardt corner kick, with Musabekov’s initial strike on goal adjudged to have narrowly crossed the goal line before it was slammed into the net for good measure by a lurking Akram Umarov.

Alexander Krestinin’s side were level at half-time, but Uzbekistan powered ahead in the second period, retaking the lead through a fierce Khamdanov strike which followed a perfectly weighted pass from Odil Ahmedov, and the result was settled once and for all when Iskanderov supplied the game’s best goal with 10 minutes remaining, finding the corner of Matiash’s net with a beautifully struck right-footed effort from 20 yards.

Uzbekistan’s win takes them to three successive victories since Abramov returned as manager in September, a return to form which appears to be perfectly timed ahead the forthcoming home fixtures against Saudi Arabia and Palestine.

In addition to their match against Japan, Kyrgyz Republic will face Tajikistan at home on Thursday as the Akshumkar continue their bid to qualify for a first-ever FIFA World Cup Finals appearance.

Uzbekistan 3-1 Kyrgyz Republic


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