Mirjalol Kasimov played in Uzbekistan’s play-off loss to Bahrain in the Germany 2006 preliminaries. Now he’s eager to coach his country to a play-off victory over Jordan in race to move one step closer to a Brazil 2014 place.
Australia downed Iraq 1-0 to qualify for Brazil 2014, while Iran edged Korea Republic 1-0 to get to Brazil, though Korea Republic also qualified on goal differential despite Uzbekistan's 5-1 win over Qatar.
Most international tournaments introduce a host of shining new stars and the AFC Asian Cup has proven to be no exception as FIFA.com looks at some of the fresh young talent that are likely to make headlines for years to come.
Uzbekistan star Odil Ahmedov speaks to FIFA.com about his team's unlikely run to the Asian Cup semi-finals, the last four showdown with Australia and his hopes for a career in Europe.
Odil Akhmedov and Server Djeparov shattered Qatari dreams with second-half goals to hand Uzbekistan a 2-0 win over the hosts in the opening game of the AFC Asian Cup on Friday.
Qatar coach Bruno Metsu says his side want to prove something to the world after their successful 2022 FIFA World Cup bid™, but he hopes the 2011 AFC Asian Cup hosts can put aside the pressure in tomorrow's opener.