- AFC Futsal C'ship (QF): Uzbekistan 6-2 Lebanon01:29 | 08/05/2014
Uzbekistan earned an AFC Futsal Championship semi-final with 10-time winners Iran after recording a resounding 6-2 win over Lebanon in Wednesday’s quarter-final at Ton Duc Thang University Stadium.
Uzbekistan were somewhat fortunate to find themselves in possession of a one-goal half-time lead given to the unbeaten Group D winners by Andrey Shlema midway through the first half after Lebanon had dominated the opening 20 minutes.
But after half-time, Dilshod Rakhmatov scored twice while Shuhrat Tojiboev, Farkhod Abdumavlyanov and Artur Yunusov were also on target as Uzbekistan eased into Thursday’s semi-final despite late consolations from Ahamd Kheir El Dine and Moustafa Serhan.
With Iran facing hosts Vietnam in the other quarter-final, Group C runners-up Lebanon should have broken the deadlock seven minutes into an evenly-matched contest as a superb piece of individual skill on the halfway line sent Serhan clean through on goal, but after taking too long with his shot, Uzbekistan goalkeeper Rustam Umarov was able to block on the edge of the penalty area.
And despite Umarov remaining the busier of the two goalkeepers, opposite number Tarek Tabboush was the first to be beaten midway through the first half as Shlema’s first-time turning shot from the edge of the penalty area caught out the Lebanon custodian at his near post.
Lebanon resumed their dominance after the goal, but were unable to find a response with Uzbekistan content to defend deep and counterattack.
And Lebanon were made to pay as Uzbekistan scored twice in less than a minute at the start of the second half through Rakhmatov and Tojiboev.
First, Rakhmatov shot past Tabboush from the edge of the penalty area before Tojiboev raced clear from the halfway line and coolly rounded the exposed goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the unguarded net.
Abdumavlyanov then added a fourth in similar circumstances four minutes later with Lebanon again overcommitted as they pushed for a way back into the contest, although this time Tabboush was beaten with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Lebanon coach Francisco Araujo responded by withdrawing Tabboush in place of Mohamad Kobeissy, although the move quickly backfired as Yunusov scored into an empty net from well inside the Uzbekistan half with nine minutes remaining.
And a minute later, with Tabboush again off the field, confusion between Kobeissy and Karim Abou Zeid allowed Rakhmatov to add a simple sixth.
Lebanon did pull a goal back through El Dine with under three minutes remaining before Serhan netted in the final minute, although they did little to detract from a convincing victory for Uzbekistan.
According to AFC
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