As much of the world prepares for the start of the 2022 world championship in Qatar, where the host nation’s national team will play against Ecuador today, on November 20 (the match was allegedly marred by a Qatari scandal. While the French team contemplated how to replace the injured Karim Benzema, Valery The Russian players, led by Karpin, continued their Asian tour, the national team played their first match in Dushanbe, where they failed to beat Tajikistan (0:0) and lost a few more players due to injuries along the way.
Tashkent was the next stop of the Russian team. Due to the synthetic floor of the field, which many players complained about in the last match, Karpin put out an experimental squad, mostly made up of young players. For example, Wings of the Russia player Sergei Pinyaev made his debut for the national team, breaking Igor Akinfeev’s record of 18 years, becoming the youngest player in the history of the national team. In general, the coach of the national team initially said that two completely different teams will play in the matches of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and Karpin kept his promises: none of the players who appeared in Dushanbe from the first minutes appeared on the field. .
But there were more talented players on the starting roster and Georgiy Jikia was on the captain’s armband.
The full composition of the team looked like this: Anton Shunin was replaced at the gate, Jikia, Alexander Silyanov, Ruslan Litvinov, Vyacheslav Karavaev worked in defense, Daler Kuzyaev, Dmitry Barinov, Daniil Fomin, Arsen Zakharyan and Andrey Mostovoy represented midfielders, and Alexander Sobolev on the front lines of the offensive took place.
The opponent’s squad was formed as follows: Utkir Yusupov, Rustam Ashurmatov, Umar Eshmurodov, Khusniddin Alikulov, Sherzod Nasrullaev, Farrukh Saifiyev, Odiljon Khamrobekov, Otabek Shukurov, Azizbek Turgunboev, Khozhimat Erkinov, Eldor Shomurod. The latter, by the way, until 2020 played in Rostov under the leadership of Karpin and spoke very well about the head coach of the Russian national team.
The match between Uzbekistan and Russia was played at the Pakhtakor stadium with a capacity of 35,000 spectators. The arena was not completely filled, but the industry of Russian fans was full: about 500 people came to support the national team, he told TASS, the communications service of the Russian Football Union (RFU).
The first interesting actions on the field appeared a minute after the start: they violated the rules of Silyanov, which led to the standard. The ball turned out to be in Zakharyan, but nothing dangerous could be deduced from it, after Arsene’s kick, the Uzbek national team rebounded, but the home team did not succeed in the offense.
In the first minutes, the Russian team, led by Barinov, actively tried to press and attack from the right flank, but in the end the pass turned out weak enough for someone to catch it in front of him. Attempts by the Uzbekistan team to open the defense were not very successful, although the ball reached Sobolev, Alexander could not shoot into the goal. And one of the moments caused Shomurodov to go on a dangerous counterattack alone, and the Russian defenders led by Jikia had to catch up with him. The ball went to the first corner at the gates of Shunin, and the team of Uzbekistan did not create anything dangerous.
Russian players quickly returned the game to the opponent’s half, Sobolev again came to the fore, but again they failed to settle the matter.
The landlord did not press on their door, they also tried to attack. Shomurodov quickly and actively moved forward, but neither the first, nor the second, nor the third waves led to anything dangerous: only Shukurov hit Shunin’s castle from afar, but the ball flew far above the target.
Although the Russian team played a more active and meaningful game in Dushanbe in the first twenty minutes, they could not create a goal position. At the same time, it turned out that the turf in the Pakhtakor stadium, although natural, was not in the best condition – there were a lot of bald spots, so the ball sometimes unsuccessfully bounced off the field. The hosts repeatedly tried to seek free zone behind the Russian defenders, but the Uzbekistani players lacked the accuracy of the final pass.
In the 24th minute of the match, the national team of Uzbekistan had the opportunity to create a very dangerous attack, stopped the ball after the corner played by the Russian players, Shomurodov went forward, but the pass did not reach him – Barinov blocked him. Already at the next moment, Eldor took the ball, reaching the penalty area, but Shunin was not allowed to hit his goal – the defenders carried the ball into the corner.
Towards the 30th minute of the match, the Russian team again increased the pressure on the penalty area and scored three corners in a row. In each of the draws, the Russian players struggled for the ball, preventing the opponents from making a quick counterattack. This pressure did not lead to anything dangerous, neither player managed to get a shot towards the goal.
In the first half of the match, players in the offensive group of the Russian national team rarely met the ball. The first half did not shine for particularly dangerous moments: neither the hosts nor the guests created them. There was a lot of struggle on the field, Russia often put pressure, Uzbekistan responded with quick counter attacks, but none of them resulted in a goal. And the first dangerous moment happened at the end of the half: Shomurodov shook Jikia, the ball reached Saifyev, who hit the goal powerfully from ten meters, but Shunin formed and the ball went to the curb.
Karpin did not change anything at halftime, the same squad appeared for the second half. At the same time, the first minutes were marked by the attacks of the hosts, Shunin entered the game quite actively: at first he left the goal on time and did not let the ball go to the corner in the next section.
Russia gradually shifted the game to someone else’s court, a positional attack caused the ball to reach Sobolev, but Alexander’s blow completely failed. At the same time, the national team of Uzbekistan made an interesting substitution: Shomurodov left the field and was replaced by Igor Sergeyev.
The Russian team created the really dangerous first moment in the 55th minute. Sobolev won a ball for himself, saw Mostovoy and passed the ball to him. Andrei did a great job throwing the ball between two players of the national team of Uzbekistan and hit the goal – the ball hit the net from the outside. Overall, after the break, the Russian team looked much more active than in the first half, there were potentially more dangerous passes and the offense looked more emphatic.
In the 63rd minute of the match, he saw the first yellow card and Sobolev, who stabbed Alikulov’s ankle. Shortly after, both coaches made substitutions, Karavaev and Jikia left the field for the Russian team, and were replaced by Artem Makarchuk and Maxim Osipenko.
In one of the episodes, Silyanov struggled with his opponent for the ball and fell, unsuccessfully grabbing his leg. The doctors of the Russian national team were on the field and for several minutes the Russian players had to play in the minority while the Rostov player was assisted. Silyanov was removed from the field by his arms, the defender was limping heavily, and the substitute was urgently prepared – just around the corner from the Russian team, Anton Miranchuk took his place. The topic is brought to an interesting moment: the ball flew into the penalty area, and Sobolev tried to pass by himself, but in the wrong way.
After substitutions for the national team of Uzbekistan – including after the departure of Shomurodov and Erkinov – the host’s attack broke down, ceased to be potentially dangerous and reached the Shunin gate, the Russian team calmly coped on the defensive and spent most of the time in someone else’s half of the field The passing time. In the 74th minute, the referee showed a free kick after a foul on Mostovoy and he passed the kick from that point: Yusupov saved his team. After Russia continued to pressurize, Sobolev tried to split twice. In the second part, the Uzbekistan national team injured the goalkeeper, but the doctors checked Yusupov, he was able to continue the game. Immediately after that, the Russian national team unsuccessfully played its corner, the defense of the host calmly coped.
15 minutes before the end of regular time, Karpin made another pair of substitutions: Nikolai Komlichenko and Sergey Pinyaev replaced Sobolev and Zakharyan on the field.
Several attacks were made by Uzbekistan, Shunin had to enter the game to grab the ball and prevent the opponents from creating anything resembling a goal-scoring opportunity.
The Russian players quickly took the game back to the other half of the field, Komlichenko put it on his heel to the partners, but neither Pinyaev nor Mostovoy were around to close the transfer.
The last ten minutes of the match were a little uneven with the whistles, applause and the sounds of various musical instruments coming from the stands. With the support of local fans, Uzbekistan rushed forward, and a rather unpleasant incident occurred at the edge of the penalty area: Kuzyaev knocked out Shukurov. However, there were no sanctions, the referee did not receive any free kicks or yellow cards.
The confusion and fuss caused another unpleasant moment at Shunin’s doors. Alikulov was alone in the Russian team’s penalty area, but could not get a discount, which saved the Russian team from the missed goal at the end of the match.
Already in extra time, Shukurov fell into the penalty area of the Russian team, Barinov stretched out his hand in this section, and then almost the entire Uzbekistan national team along with the stadium tried to signal to the referee: there was a penalty, but Daniyar Sakhi was determined – he did not signal 11 meters, and after a few minutes he whistled to end the match rang.
Again, the Russian team failed to score a single goal and drew, albeit not entirely on a minor note, in the second match of their Asian tour that ended this year, but the fans did not expect the fights against Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to end. It was a goalless draw.
Gregory Robert is a sports aficionado and a writer for “Social Bites”. He provides in-depth coverage of the latest sporting events and trends, offering a unique and knowledgeable perspective on the world of sports.