22 hours ago Match Previews
Thailand has a chance to reach the Asian Cup quarter-finals for the first time by defeating Uzbekistan on Tuesday at Al Janoub Stadium Park.
The White Wolves finished second in Group B with a 1-1 draw against Australia, while the War Elephants secured the second spot in Group F with a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia.
Uzbekistan has qualified for the knockout stage of this tournament for the sixth time in a row, remaining unbeaten in the opening phase for the first time since 2011.
Under Srecko Katanec, their team conceded only once in their first three games, which is their lowest in the group stage since 2004 (0).
Although Uzbekistan has had no trouble advancing beyond the group stage, they have struggled in single elimination games, losing their opening knockout fixtures in 2011 and 2015, failing to score in both matches.
However, in the last four months, their defense has improved significantly, conceding one goal or fewer in eight of their previous nine competitive fixtures.
Thailand displayed strong defensive performances in the opening round, remaining undefeated in the group stage for the first time in this tournament.
They finished with more points this time around (five) and did not concede a goal, showing significant improvement compared to their past performances.
In terms of head-to-head encounters, Uzbekistan has won their last two matches against Thailand, and Thailand’s last victory against them was in the 2007 King’s Cup (3-2).
Igor Sergeyev, who plays for BG Pathum United in Thailand, sustained an injury during Uzbekistan’s match against Australia.
Katanec made three changes to the starting lineup on matchday three. Azizbek Turgunboev scored the equalizer against Australia and may feature in the starting lineup.
Thailand had an entirely different starting lineup against Saudi Arabia, with only three players playing in both matches.
Theerathon Bunmathan can surpass Datsakorn Thonglao and Piyapong Pue-on for the fourth-most appearances with the War Elephants.
Possible starting lineups
Sayfiev, Khusanov, Eshmurodov, Nasrullaev;
Urunov, Shukurov, Erkinov, Turgunboev;
Mickelson, Dolah, Hemviboon, Bunmathan;
Wonggorn, Sarachat, Phala;
Prediction: Uzbekistan 1-0 Thailand (extra time)
In a tightly contested battle, a 1-0 victory for Uzbekistan in extra time is predicted. Thailand’s defensive resilience may prolong the match, but Uzbekistan’s depth is expected to eventually break through.
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