S. Korea defeats Uzbekistan 2-1 in Olympic soccer qualifying opener

January 13, 2016
Moon Chang-jin of South Korea celebrates his first goal against Uzbekistan in the team's 2-1 victory at the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championship in Doha on Jan. 13, 2016. (Yonhap)

Moon Chang-jin of South Korea celebrates his first goal against Uzbekistan in the team’s 2-1 victory at the Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championship in Doha on Jan. 13, 2016. (Yonhap)

DOHA (Yonhap) — South Korea defeated Uzbekistan 2-1 to open the men’s Olympic football qualifying tournament in Doha on Wednesday.

Midfielder Moon Chang-jin scored both goals — one in each half — at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium, as South Korea fended off 10-man Uzbekistan’s late charge to claim their first match in Group C at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship.

The tournament is also the Olympic qualifying tournament, and the top three countries will advance to this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Earlier Wednesday, Iraq defeated Yemen 2-0 in the other Group C match.

South Korea, trying to qualify for their eighth consecutive Olympics, will next face Yemen on Saturday, also at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. local time, or 10:30 p.m. in Seoul.

South Korea must finish in the top two in Group C to reach the quarterfinals.

Olympic football is open only to players under age 23, but teams can each field up to three overage players as “wild cards.”

South Korea attacked Uzbekistan early. Five minutes in, Ryu Seung-woo made a nifty through pass to send Jin Seong-uk in alone on goalkeeper Abdumavlon Abduljalilov, who stood his ground and denied the South Korean forward. In the following minute, forward Hwang Hee-chan’s shot from the left side went over the net.

South Korea caught a break in the 19th. They were awarded the penalty as Hwang’s cross attempt was ruled to have gone off Otabek Shukurov’s arm in the Uzbekistan box, although replays showed the ball might have hit Shukurov’s left chest.

Moon stepped up and shot it past Abduljalilov for the first-half lead.

Uzbekistan nearly equalized in the 23rd. After defender Yeon Jei-min’s poor clearing attempt, Igor Sergeev had a clear path to the net, but goalkeeper Kim Dong-jun stepped out of the net to deny the Uzbek forward.

On the other end, Abduljalilov was caught out of position near the top of the box in the 42nd minute but Lee Chang-min’s shot toward the gaping net missed the mark.

In the dying moments of the first half, Jamshid Iskanderov took a low shot that rolled right at Kim in the South Korean net.

South Korea doubled the lead just three minutes into the second half, with Hwang and Moon again playing the featured roles.

Hwang sprinted down the left wing, shook off a defender in the box and crossed one toward the middle. The ball rolled past Jin, but Moon charged in from behind the defense to fire it into the top shelf from a tough angle.

Uzbekistan cut the deficit in half in the 58th, as Dostonbek Khamdamov’s left-foot shot bounced into the net past the diving Kim.

Uzbekistan increased their pressure on defense but soon lost their momentum in the 71st, when Jamshid Boltaboev was sent off after a hard collision with Lee Chang-min in their battle for the loose ball.

Substitute Kwon Chang-hoon fired one right at Abduljalilov in the 80th, as South Korea held on for the one-goal victory.

moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher air max pas cher air max pas cher stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher nike tn squalo nike air max outlet mcm outlet online moose knuckles outlet happiness outlet happiness outlet shoes