CHANGZHOU, China, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Qatar had its second straight victory by beating Oman 1-0 while China conceded to its first defeat, losing to Uzbekistan 1-0 in Group A of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under 23 Championship here on Friday evening.
With one round of group matches still to play, the victory lifted Qatar to the top spot of
the group on six points, three ahead of both host China and Uzbekistan, and Oman is still
waiting for its first points of the tournament.
In the 43rd minute, Akram Afif scored the lone goal from a tight angle for Qatar.
Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez said that "it was great that we were able to get the three
points. Oman pushed hard and made it difficult for us to control the ball at times, but we had our chances to score on the counterattack."
Hamad Al Azani, the Oman head coach, admitted that "I am disappointed by the result. A lot of my players are young, and they have a (bright) future, we have to support them."
In an earlier game, Khojiakbar Alijonov's strike in the 14th minute proved the difference as Uzbekistan secured a thrilling 1-0 win over China.
Uzbekistan now level with China on three points, and both teams can still hope to secure a quarterfinal spot with one game apiece still to play.
Ravshan Khaydarov, the Uzbekistan head coach, said "it was a very difficult game for us, but the most important thing today was that we scored first. China played some beautiful football during the match, but we had our tactical plan for today's game."
Massimiliano Maddaloni, the China head coach, conceded that "it was a pity that we lost this match. We tried many times to find an equaliser, but Uzbekistan really did limit our goalscoring chances."
On Monday, Qatar will face China, and Oman plays Uzbekistan.