Uzbeks trounce sorry Malaysia
Jul 14, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR – Maksim Shatskikh scored a brace as Uzbekistan kept alive their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 with a 5-0 demolition of Malaysia at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Saturday.
The central Asian side took advantage of sloppy defending by the co-hosts to race into a 3-0 lead by half-time through goals by Shatskikh and Timur Kapadze and a stoppage time penalty by Ulugbek Bakaev.
Server Djeparov rocked the crossbar in the second half before substitute Aziz Ibragimov and Shatskikh added late goals to seal an emphatic victory for the Uzbeks in the Group C clash.
Following contrasting opening defeats, both coaches rung the changes with four alterations apiece.
Shatskikh, who had missed Uzbekistan’s 2-1 defeat against Iran through suspension, replaced Pavel Solomin up front, goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov took over from Pavel Bugalo, Anzur Ismailov replaced Aziz Ibragimov in defence, and Victor Karpenko came in for the injured Aziz Haydarov.
Meanwhile, Malaysia coach Norizan Bakar brought in defenders V.Thirumurugan and K.Nanthakumar, attacking midfielder Mohammed Ivan Yusoff and Indra Putra Mahayuddin for Fauzie Nan, Fadzli Saari, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah and Akmal Rizal Rakhli as the co-hosts looked to bounce back from a 5-1 hammering against China.
However, the Malaysian defensive frailties that had been apparent against China were exposed once again in the 10th minute when the Uzbeks were awarded a free-kick following Rosdi Talib’s foul on Bakaev near the left touchline.
Djeparov swung in the kick which flew just over the head of a leaping Islom Inomov but dropped nicely for an unmarked Shatskikh, who stooped to head the bouncing ball past Azizon Kadir at the far post
Stung by the early setback, the home side came to life and enjoyed a good passage of play highlighted by Shahrulnizam Mustapha’s toe-poke from the edge of the box in the 20th minute which was deflected wide of Ignatiy Nesterov’s right post by an Uzbek defender.
However, Malaysia’s efforts to get back into the game would be completely undermined by another soft goal on the half-hour.
Following a giveaway by the Malaysians in their own half, Karpenko latched on to Timur Kapadze’s pass and surged into the box past half-hearted challenges by Khaironisam Sahabuddin Hussain and K.Nanthakumar before firing a rising shot past a helpless Azizon.
The home side continued to battle and went close to pulling a goal back when Hardi Jaafar’s free kick from 35 metres bounced in front of Nesterov forcing an awkward save from the Uzbek goalkeeper.
Hairuddin Omar also went close when he headed Shahrulnizam’s cross wide from 10 metres.
But any hopes that the hosts had of getting back into the match evaporated just before the half-time whistle when Azizon conceded a penalty for chopping down an advancing Bakaev.
The Uzbek striker picked himself up and confidently stroked the ball past the Malaysian keeper to give his side a three-goal advantage at the break.
Uzbekistan could have made it four early in the second half when Djeparov threaded a pass through to Shatskikh on the left of the Malaysian box, the Dynamo Kiev striker firing across Azizon and just wide of the far post.
Shatskikh then set up Ibragimov with a nice lay-off in the 56th minute but the substitute’s effort was deflected over the crossbar by a Malaysian defender.
Malaysia’s best chance of the half came in the 59th minute following a nice piece of skill by Indra Putra, who received the ball from Nor Farhan Muhammad and flicked the ball with the back of his heel past Hayrulla Karimov before shooting narrowly wide of the Uzbek goal.
Djeparov then rocked the cross bar with a shot from the edge of the box on 67 minutes.
On 79 minutes, Khaironnisam nearly atoned for his earlier defensive lapse as he burst into the box and delivered a dangerous low cross that deflected off Nesterov just past his left upright.
In the 82nd minute, Shatskikh released Alexander Geynrikh with a neat through ball but the substitute fired his effort wide.
But Uzbekistan’s fourth would finally arrive in the 85th minute when Pavel Solomin crossed from the right to an unmarked Ibragimov, who side-footed a volley past Azizon from 15 metres.
Shatskikh then added his second in the 89th minute, finishing from close range after a neat exchange of passes between Djeparov and Kapadze had carved apart the Malaysian defence.
Azizon prevented any further damage by tipping over a Solomin effort in stoppage time but the comprehensive defeat is only likely to add to the pressure on under-fire Malaysia coach Norizan Bakar, whose side are all but eliminated from the tournament.