Tadjiev headers lift Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan kept alive their chances of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ with a 4-0 defeat of Qatar. Forward Farhod Tadjiev was the hero, scoring the first three goals, and his strike partner Anvarjon Soliev completed the victory.

The hosts, who went into the game bottom of Group 1 with only one point from four matches, started lively, pinning Qatar back to earn five corners in the opening eight minutes.

In the 32nd minute, Bilal Rajab weakened the visitors' hopes when he was sent off for aggressive behaviour.

Uzbekistan capitalised upon their one-man advantage just two minutes later, when Tadjiev netted the opener with a close-range header after Qatar goalkeeper Mohamed Ahmed failed to clear Server Djeparov's well-served corner.

Tadjiev made it 2-0 in first-half injury time, again with a header from Jasur Hasanov's precise left-handed cross.

Seven minutes after the break, Tadjiev completed his treble by heading home again from Timur Kapadze's long cross.

Soliev netted their fourth in the 61st minute, also with a header, lifting Uzbekistan into third spot. They now have four points from five games, and sit above Bahrain and Qatar on goal difference.

The winner and runner-up in each group will qualify for South Africa 2010 automatically.

The third-placed teams, meanwhile, will play a home-and-away tie, with the winner advancing to the inter-confederation play-off with New Zealand.