The journey towards AFC Asian Cup qualification began with continental giants Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia opening in bright fashion while ten-man Hong Kong managed to collect a point on the road against 2011 semi-finalists Uzbekistan.
FIFA.com takes a look at Uzbekistan, who collected the FIFA Fair Play Award at Monday's FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala, with the Central Asian nation having made rapid growth in recent times with more milestones on the horizon.
Mirdjalal Kasimov speaks to FIFA.com about his Uzbekistan side’s slow start to the final phase of Asian Zone qualifying, what they must do to reach Brazil 2014, and losing his country’s all-time scoring record to Maksim Shatskikh.
We take a look at the latest action in the AFC Champions League, with Adelaide United, Bunyodkor, Guangzhou Evergrande, and Ulsan Hyundai all booking their places in the quarter-finals.
Hosts Qatar and Group A winners Uzbekistan both qualified for the AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals after today's final round of games, while China PR and Kuwait have been eliminated from the tournament.
An entertaining game between Uzbekistan and China PR ended 2-2, which was enough for the Uzbeks to finish top of Group A and qualify for the quarter-finals, where they will play Japan, Jordan or Syria.