Abramov wants Uzbeks to improve

Uzbekistan coach Vadim Abramov said there was still room for improvement despite seeing his side move to the brink of the AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 defeat of Kuwait.

A scorching second-half strike from captain Server Djeparov secured victory for Uzbekistan at the Al Gharafa Stadium on Wednesday, after Azizbek Haydarov's opener had been cancelled out by a Bader Al Mutwa penalty.

It gave the Central Asian powerhouses six points from their first two Group A matches and means a draw in their final game against China will be enough to secure a last-eight berth for the third Asian Cup in succession.

Uzbekistan could even afford to lose to China and still go through, depending on the outcome of the other group game, but Abramov said he had been concerned by the number of chances Kuwait created in the second-half.

"After the game we will analyse everything to see if we made any mistakes and figure out how to solve them and play better," he said. "We have time to analyse everything and I think for the next matches we will solve our problems. Kuwait played very well today because it was their last chance and they forced us into making mistakes in our defensive line."

We have time to analyse everything and I think for the next matches we will solve our problems
Vadim Abramov , Uzbekistan coach.

Abramov has long stated that Uzbekistan should be targeting a place in the final but he was nonetheless reluctant to lavish praise on his side despite their 100 per cent start in the competition.

"It would be better if a specialist or someone from another team talks about our good points because I am a coach and I can't say what is good or not," he said. "We could compare them with other teams, but I think it would be better if my players show how good they are by playing football and qualifying for the next stage. If we reach the semi-finals it will be a good result."

Uzbekistan round off the group phase against China on Sunday and Abramov revealed that he was contemplating making changes to his starting XI.

"China are a strong team. First I will check the situation with my players," he said. "Some players have yellow cards, some have injuries. Sometimes players have to rest, but some don't like not playing for a long time."

He added: "This is a big tournament and whoever wins this tournament is the best team. Every team at the tournament is very strong and I hope the quality of the football does not drop."