Poor performance sees Malaysia lose 0-2 to Uzbekistan at U23 Asian Cup

By Lam Thoa   April 17, 2024 | 04:35 pm PT
Malaysia had no shots on goal against Uzbekistan and ended up losing 0-2 in the opening match of Group D at the 2024 Asian U23 tournament Wednesday night.

Uzbekistan goalkeeper Abduvakhid Nematov finished the match with an almost flat shirt, without any sweat, as he did not have to make any save. His job was just touching the ball passed by his teammates, except one rare moment when he had to act in the 84th minute. Malaysia's striker Haqimi received a pass over the head of the Uzbekistan defense, but controlled the step too long and Nematov rushed out to easily clear it.

Malaysia (áo vàng) bất lực trong việc ngăn cản Uzbekistan, thua 0-2 ở trận ra quân giải U23 châu Á tại Qatar ngày 17/4. Ảnh: AFC

Malaysia (L) in their 0-2 loss to Uzbekistan at the U23 Asian Cup, April 17, 2024. Photo by AF

Malaysia played with five midfielders, but could not control the midfield. Striker Fergus Tierney did not have the ball most of the time and had to retreat to a third of the field towards his team's side. According to statistics from the Asian Football Confederation, Malaysia only had two finishes, but not once towards Uzbekistan's goal.

On the contrary, the match at Khalifa Stadium was like a practice session for Uzbekistan. Coach Timur Kapadze's team completely controlled the game, many times with only the goalkeeper remaining on their side of the field, and the remaining 10 players on the other side to deploy attacks.

U23 Asian Cup: Uzbekistan 2-0 Malaysia

Uzbekistan had advantage from scoring early. In the 9th minute, Malaysian midfielder Syahir had the ball in the penalty area, but handled it awkwardly, lost it and then committed a foul by kicking Jiyanov's foot. The referee gave Uzbekistan the penalty and Jalolidinov scored successfully.

Uzbekistan had 59% ball possession and finished 19 shots. However, the defending runner-up's attacks lacked accuracy. It was not until the 83rd minute that Uzbekistan scored the second goal. Second-half substitute Abu Khalil failed to pass, allowing Uzbekistan to steal the ball and Khoshimov sealed the score 2-0 with an angle shot.

In round two of group D on April 20, Uzbekistan will meet Kuwait, and Malaysia play Vietnam.

Khoshimov (số 9) ăn mừng bàn thắng ấn định tỷ số 2-0 trước Malaysia, trên sân Khalifa. Ảnh: AFC

Khoshimov (number 9) celebrate his goal in Uzbekistan's 2-0 victory over Malaysia at the U23 Asian Cup in Khalifa Stadium, Qatar, April 17, 2024. Photo by AFC

The tournament this year in Qatar from April 15 to May 5 has 16 teams and is considered an Asian qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The top three teams will go to France and the fourth-placed team will face African team Guinea in a playoff for the remaining slot.

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