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Uzbekistan U23s arrive early for Qualifiers

  • Published at 12:14 pm March 20th, 2015
Uzbekistan U23s arrive early for Qualifiers

In order to acclimatise to the conditions, top-seeded Uzbekistan Under-23 football team arrived in Dhaka yesterday, a week before the start of the AFC U-23 Group E Qualifiers.

Forgetting the 12-hour jet-lag, the Uzbekistan footballers rushed to the artificial turf of the Bangladesh Football Federation and enjoyed a stretching session. Coach Bakhtiar Ashurnatov appeared extremely serious. “The difference in conditions between Uzbekistan and Bangladesh is our headache. It is totally different so we have come early to adapt to the conditions. We are not familiar with these conditions,” said Bakhtiar.

The coach was straight-forward regarding his goal. “We want to qualify for the [2016] Rio Olympics. We failed to qualify for the [2012] London Olympics so we are not taking anything lightly. The hosts are always a tough opponent while India and Syria are also strong opponents. In football nothing is easy so we have to put our best,” said the coach who took charge of Uzbekistan a few months ago.

Bakhtiar revealed that only four members of their squad played against Bangladesh before, in the Asian Games. He also said prior to coming here, they played practice matches against Vietnam and a local Uzbek club.

He has urged the BFF to arrange practice sessions at the natural turf today.

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