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
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t