Urinboev and Uzbekistan braced for China test
Changzhou: Captain Zabikhillo Urinboev believes Uzbekistan can rectify their poor start to the AFC U23 Championship 2018 when they face China PR in the second round of Group A matches at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Centre on Friday.
The 22-year-old Pakhtakor striker was a star performer for his country during Tuesday’s narrow 1-0 loss to Qatar, a result that, combined with China’s 3-0 win over Oman, leaves the Central Asians currently occupying third place in Group A and needing a positive result against the host nation to realistically have any chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.
“After the first matchday results, it is fair to say that we are in a difficult situation,” Uriboev told the-AFC.com.
“We are busy preparing for the match against China because they are undoubtedly a strong opponent. Nevertheless, we will, of course, try to improve the current situation in the next game.”
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In the wake of the defeat to Qatar, head coach Ravshan Khaydarov was critical of his side for making crucial errors that cost them the game, a statement of fact with which Urinboev fully agrees.
“We prepared well for the Qatar game, he said.
“But we could not score or use the chances we created during the match. The second half was a difficult one for us. There were some moments when we lost control and we conceded a goal to a counter-attack.
“In our next match against China, we hope to produce a good result that will make our fans proud.”