Uzbekistan secures commanding 2-0 away win over Hong Kong in FIFA World Cup 2026 Asian qualifiers

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22nd March 2024 – (Hong Kong) Uzbekistan’s national football team demonstrated their prowess on foreign soil with a decisive 2-0 victory against Hong Kong, China in the second stage of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifying tournament. This Group E clash, which unfolded on Thursday, saw Uzbekistan enhance their prospects of advancing in the competition.

Both teams entered the match with contrasting fortunes in their previous outings. Hong Kong, China had secured a solitary point from their last two matches, while Uzbekistan had chalked up a win and a draw.

The visitors asserted their dominance early in the contest, with Eldor Shomurodov, the sharpshooter from Italy’s Serie A, finding the back of the net within four minutes. However, the jubilation was short-lived as the goal was disallowed for offside. Undeterred, Shomurodov continued to threaten and came perilously close to scoring, striking the woodwork shortly after.

Persistence paid off for Uzbekistan shortly after halftime. In the 49th minute, Shomurodov made no mistake as he connected with a cross from the right flank, nudging the ball past the goalkeeper to give Uzbekistan the lead. Not resting on their laurels, Uzbekistan doubled their advantage when Rustamjon Ashurmatov deftly redirected a corner kick into the goal, cementing the team’s superiority.

As the final whistle sounded, Uzbekistan walked away with three valuable points, bolstering their position in the group standings. For Hong Kong, China, the defeat is a setback in their campaign, and they will be looking to redeem themselves in the return fixture.

The two sides are poised to meet again on the following Tuesday, with Hong Kong, China travelling to Uzbekistan for the fourth round of the qualifiers. The upcoming encounter promises to be a significant one, as both teams aim to improve their chances of making it to the world’s most prestigious football tournament.