World Cup - Confident Uzbeks plan to frustrate Jordan's attack

Uzbekistan will aim to contain Jordan's forwards in Friday's first leg of their World Cup play-off, coach Mirjalol Kasimov told Reuters.

Reuters
Asian Football - Uzbekistan bank on home support against Jordan in play-off
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Server Djeparov of Uzbekistan (Reuters)

The two Asia sides are battling it out over two legs to find out which one will progress to the intercontinental play-off against the fifth-placed South American side for a World Cup berth.

The Uzbeks are favourites to advance between two teams who are vying for a first World Cup finals appearance but Kasimov is aware of the dangers of the Jordanian frontline, particularly at home in Amman where they beat Japan and Australia in the previous round.

"Jordan is a very disciplined team. They have a good, balanced squad where the strongest aspect is the attacking line," he said. "We will play densely. The main thing here is the result."

Kasimov took over for a second time last year after Uzbekistan lost their opening fourth-round group match at home to Iran.

The former international midfielder resurrected the campaign, though, and the Uzbeks just missed out on automatic qualification for Brazil on goal difference to South Korea.

Kasimov said qualification for the finals would have a huge impact on football in the central Asian country.

"Qualifying means that Uzbek football will make many steps forward," he said by email.

"It helps to develop football in all age categories. And don't forget that for any player participation in a World Cup is a dream.

"We will fight until the end. We'll give our best to go to Brazil."

The Uzbeks will be without first-choice goalkeeper Ignatiy Nesterov and defender Shohruh Gadoev for the matches but Kasimov saw no reason why his side could not take a lead back home for the second leg on Tuesday.

"If we did not believe in ourselves we would stay in Tashkent," he said.

"We are not nervous now but there is a little worry inside us, because all of us are ordinary people. I think in games where you represent your country at international level everyone feels the same things. And for us it is normal."

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