Uzbekistan at Football World Cup in Mexico: “This is how we do!”
Uzbek Under-17 (U-17) football team gets to the play-off level of the FIFA World Cup Mexico 2011, beating USA and Czech Republic.
To note, Uzbeks started with a defeat in a match against New Zealand, the first match for them at the tournament.
After that defeat our youngsters showed how they could deal with a stressfull situation and pressure — they showed it in their second match, this time against their peers from the United States.
Before the match FIFA website in the “Uzbeks Meet Impressive US” said:
“Things are less rosy for Uzbekistan, whose players seemed overwhelmed by the occasion against New Zealand, conceding four goals and leaving them with much to do. The team’s focus will be to get their campaign back on track and take full advantage of the opportunities left open to them.”
…along with the Uzbek coaches justifying the teams result:
“We didn’t perform as expected in our first game; we made a lot of basic errors and were beaten convincingly. The players have to get over their nerves and show another side to their game in our second match,” Uzbekistan coach Aleksey Evstafeev.
And nobody really believed Uzbeks would beat young but well trained American professionals. But they did!
Uzbekistan shock flat-footed USA, June 22:
“Uzbekistan saw off a stunned USA for a historic 2-1 victory in Torreon, securing their first-ever three points at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Americans had impressed in their opener against the Czech Republic, while the Uzbeks suffered a heavy blow against New Zealand. It was a reverse of fate though on the day, as the debutants capitalised on a flat outing from the Americans.”
“I shouted out loud when I saw the net bulge, because I really wanted to score today and my wish came true. This win’s going to give us a big confidence boost for the third match.”
Uzbekistan’s Bobir Davlatov on scoring against USA.
After that victory Uzbeks needed to get another three points to secure their top place in D grop of the World Cup. This time against Czechs. Guess what? They did it! :)
FIFA.com called the match “a historic victory” and said that “Uzbekistan pulled of the surprise of the tournament so far at Mexico 2011 as they came from behind to defeat Czech Republic 2-1 to claim top spot in Group D – over USA and New Zealand, who played out a goalless draw.”
This is very exciting knowing that a younger generation of the Uzbek football players is a badass (pardon my French) and a perfect example for the national team that when there is not much to believe in, the hope is still there. The hope of players, fans and the whole country that believes in a miracle.
As one of the Uzbek fans said after a victory over the U.S. team:
“This win gives us proud, and faith!!! Our morale is high in the sky!.. This gives us hope.. Let’s support our young players, players that brings us a lot of joy and tears of patriotism… I am really thankful for this from our brave and strong guys! Next game will be for our team a good fourtune to qualify further… Good Luck my brothers… Let’s astonish all the world with Uzbek football.”
Few words from the coach of those who represent the region of Cetnral Asia at the World Cup:
“We are thrilled with this historic victory, our first in this competition. We are giving everything we have to do justice to Uzbek football and bring a smile to our fans’ faces. We weren’t happy with our performance in the first game or the result, but we’ve shown that we have tremendous potential and that we are capable of big things. We had to pick ourselves up before we could take on a team of the calibre of United States, and the boys went out there and delivered a very assured performance.” Aleksey Evstafeev.
So, now Uzbekistan, as first-place finishers, will take on one of the best third-place teams on 29 June.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
USA-Uzbekistan match highlights available here.
Czech Republic-Uzbekistan match highlights available here.