2020 AFC U16 Championship: Know Your Rivals – Uzbekistan

Goal lets you know everything you need to learn about the Blue Colts’ opponents in their 2020 AFC U16 Championship …


QUICK FACTS


Name: Uzbekistan

Nickname: White Wolves

Manager: Olim Shakirov

Last match: India 1-1 Uzbekistan (22 September 2019)


TEAM PROFILE


Uzbekistan’s performance in the AFC U16 Championship is rather interesting. They have featured in the final round in just nine of the 18 editions so far but have performed well each time they have reached the finals. They first participated in the group stage in the 1994 Qatar edition. They lost all of their games, conceding an astonishing 31 goals in the process.

Their campaign in 1996 in Thailand was only marginally better, with only one win in four games as they did not make the knockouts all over again. Uzbekistan’s most useful performance at that time arrived in 2002 once they finished fourth in the tournament held in the UAE.

The White Wolves could manage a quarterfinal finish when they hosted the tournament in 2008 but quickly outdid themselves with a silver medal in the 2010 edition, that was once again played in Uzbekistan.

This enabled them to be eligible for the 2011 FIFA U17 World Cup that was held in Mexico. They did well to top an organization that also contained USA, New Zealand and Czech Republic. A thumping 4-0 win over Australia in the last-16 ensured Uzbekistan marched on to the quarterfinals in great momentum. But a 2-0 defeat against eventual silver medallists Uruguay ended their campaign.

Uzbekistan witnessed a peak of sorts during the turn of last decade. After bagging a silver medal in 2010, they continued to become champions in the 2012 edition which was hosted by Iran.

They defeated big names such as South Korea, Iran and Japan in the knockout stages to claim their first AFC U16 Championship title.

Uzbekistan were expunged in the quarterfinals in the two subsequent editions and failed to be eligible for the 2018 AFC U16 Championship. India can expect a difficult challenge against a side that has connection with winning silverware in this competition.


LESSONS FROM DAYS GONE BY


The Indian colts and the young White Wolves have locked horns on three occasions so far – twice in the qualifiers to the AFC U16 Championship as soon as in the ultimate round. Uzbekistan have won twice nevertheless the most recent result was a 1-1 attract the 2020 AFC U16 Championship qualifiers.

Sridarth Nongmeikapam scored for India whereas Rian Islamov scored for the hosts in the 1-1 draw.

H-HGAMESINDIA WINSDRAWSUZB WINSGOALS (INDIA)GOALS (UZB)GD (INDIA)WIN % (INDIA)
UZB3012313-100

RECENT RESULTS


Uzbekistan finished runners-up in the 2019 CAFA (Central Asian Football Association) U16 Championship which was held this past year in Tajikistan. The White Wolves did not win either of their first two games but came ultimately back strong to defeat Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in the following games. Eventually they finished 2nd with 10 points, with Tajikistan winning the league-format tournament with 13 points.

In September 2019, Uzbekistan hosted the qualifiers for the upcoming U16 Championship. They started their campaign with a 3-1 win over Bahrain and followed it with a 3-2 win over Turkmenistan. The final game saw them split up points with India after having a 1-1 draw.


WHAT TO ANTICIPATE


They have scored 19 goals within their last eight games, averaging an impressive 2.38 goals per game. They scored at least one goal in all of their games and at the least three in five of the eight games.

One can get an attack-minded approach from Uzbekistan once they take the field in Bahrain later this year. The defence has kept just two clean sheets in those times but haven’t conceded significantly more than two goals in any of the games.

India will have to be together with their game to over come the White Wolves.


PLAYER TO WATCH


Midfielder Islamov has scored in each of their three qualifier games last season, including a late equaliser to deny India the win in the ultimate game.

Forward Rustam Turdimurodov is another player who could grab the news headlines. He scored two goals in the qualifiers.