MD1 - Group D: Palestine 2-0 Uzbekistan
West Bank: Palestine secured a stunning 2-0 victory over Uzbekistan in their opening FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers tie on Thursday.
Uzbekistan had been the favourites going into the Group D match but Palestine made full use of home ground advantage to secure a vital three points.
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Uzbekistan, as expected, started better and dominated possession with the Central Asians coming close to scoring in the 27th minute but Kuvondyk Ruzyev fired his effort wide from above the box.
Palestine, on their part, worked hard but lacked the cutting edge to trouble the Uzbekistan defence.
Uzbekistan almost found the back of the net in the 33rd minute after a good team buildup but Odil Ahmedov missed from close range.
Uzbekistan started the second half once again on the front foot but saw an early chance to get ahead in the 47th minute dashed as Palestine scrambled the ball to safety.
Palestine began to see more of the ball and Mahmoud Wadi fired a low drive from inside the danger area in the 50th minute but his effort was blocked by Uzbekistan goalkeeper Eldorbek Suyunov.
That was a preview of what was to come as Palestine stunned Uzbekistan in the 61st minute with the mercurial Oday Dabbagh slamming home.
The momentum had firmly swung Palestine’s way and they doubled their lead in the 85th minute as Islam Batran headed home Mus'ab Al-Batat’s delivery from the right.
Up next for Palestine are Singapore on Tuesday while Uzbekistan will only be in action on October 10 when they play Yemen.
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