Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Rize: Uzbekistan's big striker Igor Sergeev is ecstatic with the Uzbeks’ historical campaign and insists that the team wants to go all the way to the finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013.
Uzbekistan defeated Greece 3-1 to book a quarter-finals date against a star-studded French side featuring Juventus youngster Paul Pogba on Saturday.
“Our generation could go a long way," the top scorer of AFC U-19 Championship 2012 was quoted as saying by FIFA.com. Sergeev had scored seven goals for the Uzbeks in the Asian Championship last year where they were beaten by eventual champions Korea Republic 3-1. Both Asian sides, as well as Iraq, are in the quarter-finals of the ongoing global event.
“We're looking to make a mark here at the World Cup finals, and we're also keeping one eye on our preparations for the next Olympic games. We're picking up valuable experience for the years to come.
“It's a massive festival for everyone in Uzbekistan. We’ve made history, and we'll probably only really grasp what we've achieved a couple of days from now," he added.
Given his performance in the continent, the lanky Pakhtakor striker is yet to pick his top form but still he has managed two goals including a calmly taken penalty against Greece in the Round of 16 match when it was 1-1 with less than 30 minutes remaining.
But Sergeev believes in teamwork and stresses that the togetherness in the team is behind the unprecedented Uzbek success in Turkey.
“We've been playing together since we were all very young. We know everything about each other, and each man is aware of what the others will do. We'd understand each other blindfolded out on the field," Sergeev commented, before adding with a smile: “And most of us are extremely agile, which is one of our really big strengths. Of course, you still need a big man up front, and I guess that would be me."