Uzbekistan Thrash Malaysia

Goals from Maksim Shatskikh, Timur Kapadze, Ulugbek Bakaev and Aziz Ibragimov kept alive Uzbekistan’s slim hopes of a 2007 Asian Cup’s quarter-final place and saw co-host Malaysia crash out of this year’s competition after their Group C match at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Saturday.

Uzbekistan's players celebrate after scoring a goal against Malaysia

Dynamo Kiev’s striker Maksim Shatskikh put the visitors ahead with a near-post header and Timur Kapadze fired home before Ulugbek Bakaev added point three from a penalty spot, earning a 3 – 0 half-time lead.

Aziz Ibragimov fired from inside the box before Shatskikh grabbed his second goal to round off the Uzbekistan’ 5 – 0 whopping win.

The visitors took the lead in the 10th minute when Djeparov swung in a free kick which dropped nicely for an unmarked Shatskikh, who headed past goalkeeper Azizon Kadir.

The Malaysian defense paid for its frustrated performance in the 30th minute when midfielder Timur Kapadze danced his way past the host side’s center defenders Khaironisam Sahabuddin Hussain and Nanthakumar before beating stopper Azizon in a one-on-one challenge.

The home side rallied and almost pulled a goal back when Hairuddin Omar headed Shahrulnizam’s cross wide from 10 meters.

But their hopes of getting back into the match were ruined at the stroke of half-time when Uzbekistan was awarded a penalty after keeper Azizon fouled Bakaev from inside the box.

The Uzbekistani striker confidently shot the ball past the Malaysian keeper to give his side a three-goal lead at the break.

The visitors continued to pile up pressure on the host side after the interval, and their fourth point arrived in the 85th minute when Pavel Solomin crossed from the right to an unmarked Ibragimov, who side-footed a volley past Azizon from inside the box.

Shatskikh then made it 5 – 0 in the 89th minute, finishing from close range after a good combination between Djeparov and Kapadze tore apart the Malaysian defense.

Group C

By Hoang Uy

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