In Asian World Cup qualifiers, Uzbekistan recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Syria at home, while Iran left it late against Qatar but clinched a 2-0 triumph.
At Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan were certainly the better side and were full value for their victory. Samvel Babayan’s men saw 60 percent of the possession and enjoyed nine attempts at goal compared to only six from Syria.
Despite that dominance, Ayman Al Hakeem’s team did well to hang-in and remain competitive.
However, the decisive moment came in the 74th minute when Ordabasy’s Alexander Geynrikh found the back of the net with a neat finish to give Uzbekistan a 1-0 lead that they would not surrender.
In the closing quarter, Syria threw numbers forward however Alexander Lobanov was composed in the Uzbekistan goal and ensured his team won the match 1-0.
Elsewhere, at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Carlos Queiroz’s side somehow snatched a 2-0 victory after scoring twice after the ninety minutes was up. Reza Ghoochannejhad and Alireza Jahanbakhsh were the added-time heroes for Iran.
The decorated Queiroz will be frustrated that his team could not break Qatar down earlier in the game. While they were able to create, they lacked composure in front of goal.
The above results see Iran go top of Group A on goal difference while Uzbekistan are in third. Only one round of games has been played and the group will begin to take shape in rounds two and three.