The Qantas Australian Under 23s have suffered a 2-0 defeat to Uzbekistan in the third round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Games.
The Qantas Australian Under 23s hopes of the qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games hang in the balance after losing 0-2 to Uzbekistan in their AFC Asian Qualifier for the 2012 London Games match played at the JAR Stadium in Tashkent today.
Due to extreme low temperatures the kick-off time for the match was moved from 8pm to 3pm, but with the mercury around -12 C it was of little comfort to the players.
The Qantas Australian Under 23s started strong with Mate Dugandzic and captain Oliver Bozanic each having shots on target in the opening ten minutes.
But with a snow covered, frozen pitch making passing and touches difficult, it was never going to be a free flowing, technical game of football.
Uzbekistan took the lead in the 27th minute when Oybek Kilichev set up Kenja Turaev who hit a long range shot giving Qantas Australian Under 23s goalkeeper Mat Ryan no chance of saving.
Soon afterwards Jason Hoffman looked to have an equaliser for the Qantas Australian Under 23s but was adjudged to have scored from an offside position.
The second half saw both teams create opportunities at both ends but the quality of the build-up play and finishing was severely hampered by the pitch conditions.
Just after the hour mark Mitch Nichols also seemed to have netted an equaliser, but his attempt was denied after the referee blew for an infringement in the box in the lead up to the goal.
Oleg Zoteev sealed the result for the Uzbeks in the 86th minute with a sublime volley from outside the box which hit the underside of the crossbar and went into the net.
Later in the day UAE managed to hold on for a 1-0 win over Iraq, which kept Australia's slim hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Games alive.
The Qantas Australian Under 23s will now return to Dubai to prepare for their next AFC Asian Qualifier for the 2012 London Games match against the UAE on the 22 February.
As part of their preparations for that match they will play an international friendly against the Philippines at the Al Nasr Stadium on Thursday 16 February (Kick-Off 8pm local, 3am AEDT).
Uzbekistan 2 (Kenja Turaev 27, Oleg Zoteev 86) Qantas Australian Under 23s 0
Caltex Socceroos defender Behich heading back to Turkey
Caltex Socceroos defender Aziz Behich has made a move back to Turkey, joining İstanbul Başakşehir FK on a three-year deal. After being unable to break into Mark van Bommel’s PSV side in the Eredivisie, the 28-year-old left-back has decided to join the Istanbul-based outfit whi
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Europa League qualification and important clashes for a couple of recalled faces to the Caltex Socceroos squad are on the agenda for your Aussies Abroad this weekend. Read on for a full rundown of what's ahead for our overseas Aussie stars (all times are AEST). Amini’s
How to watch Korea Republic v Caltex Socceroos
On Friday, 7 June in Busan, Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos will take on Korea Republic in an international friendly. With a core group of experienced Australia i...nternationals rested ahead of a busy FIFA World Cup qualifying schedule, the match serves as a chance for Arnold t
The 11 Hyundai A-League players in the Caltex Socceroos squad
Sydney FC’s Grand Final hero, a 1.98 metre defender from Stoke City and a revitalised Bundesliga attacker are among six uncapped players to be included in Graham Arnold’s latest Caltex Socceroos squad. Three of those players – Sydney FC pair Andrew Redmayne and Brandon O'Neil