Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan to decide quarters spot

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan to decide quarters spot
Updated 17 January 2015

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan to decide quarters spot

Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan to decide quarters spot

MELBOURNE: Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia will decide which team joins China as the Group B quarterfinalist at the Asian Cup on Sunday. China, which has already sealed top spot in the group, will look to win its third straight match to open the tournament, for the first time.
The winner of this Melbourne match will play South Korea, winner from Group A.
Odil Ahmedov scored Uzbekistan’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to China on Wednesday, while Igor Sergeev headed in to give the team a 1-0 win over North Korea in their opener.
Uzbekistan coach Mirdjalal Kasimov said his side was the better team in the first half against China, but dropped off in the second half.
“I want to congratulate China. Now we must try and beat Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Saudi Arabia produced a more definitive result against North Korea on Wednesday, with Mohammed Al-Sahlawi scoring two of the team’s four goals in a 4-1 win in which Naif Hazazi and Nawaf Al-Abid also got on the board.
Saudi Arabia coach Cosmin Olaroiu said that confidence-building victory boded well for its must-win match against Uzbekistan.
“I’m happy we won the game and also we had a good performance,” Olaroiu said after the match. “Now we have to forget it quickly to prepare for the next game against Uzbekistan.”
This is the fourth Asian Cup meeting between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia, with the Saudis winning two of the previous three and Uzbekistan one.

CHINA VS. NORTH KOREA: A win over North Korea in Canberra will complete a perfect run through the group stage for China.
They have won their opening two games at the Asian Cup for the first time since 1988 but have never made it three.
China coach Alain Perrin was already celebrating his team’s group win after beating Uzekistan in Brisbane this week.
“We played a very beautiful match,” Perrin said after his side’s 2-1 win. “Now we can move to the knockout stage in the first ranking of the group. It’s fantastic.”
Ryang Yong Gi opened the scoring for North Korea early against Saudi Arabia. But in the end the North Koreans were outclassed 4-1.
North Korea has now lost eight and drawn two of their past 10 Asian Cup matches, and scored just three goals in their last nine games of the tournament.
However, one of North Korea’s three Asian Cup wins was a 2-1 victory over China in 1990.
China has won all three matches between the two teams since 2005.