Uzbekistan vs Thailand will face each other in the Round of 16 of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 on Tuesday, January 30, at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar. This will be the first time that the two teams meet in the continental tournament, and both will be eager to advance to the quarter-finals.
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Uzbekistan: The White Wolves Seek a Fifth Quarter-Final Appearance
Uzbekistan finished second in Group B behind Australia, with two wins and a draw. They scored six goals and conceded three, showing their attacking prowess and defensive solidity. Their star players include midfielder Otabek Shukurov, who scored two goals and provided two assists and forward Eldor Shomurodov, who netted three times.
Uzbekistan have reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup four times, but never made it to the semi-finals. Their best result was in 2011 when they lost to Australia in the last four. They will be hoping to make history this time and go one step further.
However, Uzbekistan coach Srecko Katanec has played down his team’s tag as favourites, saying that Thailand are a tough opponent who have not conceded a goal yet in the tournament. He also said that his team will need to be flexible and adapt to different situations during the match.
Thailand: The War Elephants Aim to Surpass Their Previous Best
Thailand qualified for the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed teams, after drawing with Oman and Australia and beating China in Group A. They did not score a lot of goals, but they were very organized and disciplined in defense, keeping three clean sheets.
Thailand have never reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup, and their best result was in 1972, when they finished fourth. They will be looking to break their own record and challenge Uzbekistan for a spot in the last eight.
Thailand coach Masatada Ishii said that he is happy to have captain Theerathon Bunmathan back from suspension, as he is one of the most important players in the team. He also said that Uzbekistan have a good defensive structure and like to work with deep spaces, so his team will try to come up with plans to counter that.
Prediction: Uzbekistan to Edge a Close Contest
Both teams have shown their strengths and weaknesses in the group stage, and this match could be a close and exciting one. Uzbekistan have more experience and quality in their squad, and they have scored more goals than Thailand. However, Thailand has been very solid and resilient in defense, and they have not lost to Uzbekistan in their last two meetings.
We predict that Uzbekistan will win this match by a narrow margin, perhaps 1-0 or 2-1, and advance to the quarter-finals, where they will face the hosts Qatar.