Being rated higher, the Uzbekistan team soon created an overwhelming position against China right after the opening whistle. However, while still struggling to find a way to the home net, the Central Asian representative suddenly received an injury. Wei Shihao opened the score for coach Aleksandar Janković’s students after a precise shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Coach Srečko Katanec’s adjustments were effective in the second half. Otabek Shukurov equalized the score in the 78th minute. The 27-year-old’s penalty shot failed to beat the Chinese goalkeeper, but Shukurov was able to score in time for the rebound. . 8 minutes later it was Jamshid Iskanderov’s turn to score after a mistake by the home defense.
Speaking in the press conference room, coach Srečko Katanec was not satisfied with his students’ wastefulness in the first half.
“We deserved to win,” Katanec said. “We pressed the field for 90 minutes. The Chinese team resisted very tenaciously. I was not satisfied with the first half. Our players lacked speed and variety. We improved in the second half and scored 2 goals.”
When asked about the two opponents that Uzbekistan met in China, the Slovenian military leader was straightforward.
“Neither Vietnam nor China gave us too much trouble,” said coach Srečko Katanec.
Meanwhile, coach Aleksandar Janković defended his unpopular personnel decisions with his fans.
“I said before that this is a process of rebuilding the squad,” the Serbian coach shared. “We need to make sure we can find an optimal squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. From that perspective, I’m quite satisfied with the team’s ability to adapt.”
As for Wei Shihao, who scored the only goal for China, admitted: “Overall, they were stronger than us. In the first half, we counterattacked and took the lead, but the penalty in the second half changed match situation.”
Not as optimistic as coach Aleksandar Janković and his team, Chinese fans and football experts have made many criticisms like Huang Jianxiang of Sohu newspaper.
“Cruyff once said: ‘Playing football is easy, but playing simple football is difficult’. In this match, the possession ratio was 39:61, the shooting ratio was 3:23, the Chinese team is weakening. Rate number is 1:2. Did we also play counter-attack defense against Thailand in the World Cup qualifiers?”
Nam Thanh | 23:20 October 16, 2023