FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013

FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013

21 June - 13 July

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013

Uzbekistan cruise past New Zealand

Abbosbek Makhstaliev of Uzbekistan celebrates his goal
© Getty Images

An Abbosbek Makhstaliev-inspired Uzbekistan got their FIFA U-20 World Cup up and running with a comfortable 3-0 win over Group F rivals New Zealand.

The Pakhtakor midfielder scored one and made one as Akhmadjan Musaev's team ran out worthy winners. The sides had met at FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011, in the countries' only ever previous meeting, where New Zealand ran out 4-1 winners that day.

Today was a different story, with the Oceania champions suffered an early scare in the fifth minute when Makhstaliev's cross saw goalkeeper Maxime Crocombe and Simon Arms collide in the six-yard box. However, Igor Sergeev controlled the ball with his arm a yard out, and the goal was disallowed.

The Asian side did get their break-through soon after, though. A miskick from Crocrombe found the feet of Sergeev just outside the New Zealand area. While the keeper got a hand to his shot, Makhstaliev was on hand to tap in the rebound.

The little winger, who was a real nuisance for the Junior All Whites, marauding across midfield and finding space for himself, as Uzbekistan dominated possession.

Sergeev went close to a spectacular second as a long ball saw him out-pace Arms and sweetly hit a left-footed volley with the outside of his foot, for it to curl only onto the outside of the far post.

Tim Payne hit a rising effort from 30 yards, which flew over Asilbek Amanov's bar, in what was the Oceania side's best effort, but Uzbekistan again came close seconds later.

Makhstaliev fed Diyorjon Turapov but, having taken the ball round the keeper, a combination of Crocombe and Arms kept it out, before Sergeev forced the goalkeeper into a fine save.

Sergeev did get his goal eight minutes into the second period though and Makhstaliev was again instrumental, clipping the ball through with the outside of his boot, allowing the imposing striker to fire in off the post.

Another poor clearance from Crocombe almost resulted in a second for Sergeev, but it was 3-0 moments later when Turapov's shot from 20-yards deflected off Payne and over the goalkeeper. The vocal Uzbekistan support erupted and it was clear it was their day in Bursa.

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