Australia continue streak, Uzbekistan stay alive

Mandalay: Australia beat Myanmar to move within a single point of the Finals, while Uzbekistan kept their hopes alive with a win over Nepal in the second of round AFC U-19 Women's Championship Thailand 2019 qualifiers on Sunday.


A rejuvenated Uzbekistan revived their qualifying bid, earning a much needed 4-0 win over Nepal at Mandalar Thiri Stadium.

The Central Asians had fallen to a narrow defeat to Myanmar on Friday, but three goals in 10 second-half minutes ensured they will go into Tuesday's final Round 2 match with Australia still in contention of a place in the finals.

Nepal's second successive defeat means their hopes of a return to the Finals for the first time since 2004 have been dashed with one match still to play.

Uzbekistan had struggled to create scoring opportunities in Friday's 1-0 loss to Myanmar, but it took only 21 minutes to take the lead this time, with Shahnoza Kurbonova netting the opener after a spill from goalkeeper Anjana Rana Magar.

Nepal finished the first half strongly, and had several opportunities to equalise early in the second period, but they consistently went begging as Manisha Raut, Sara Limbu and Sabita Rana Magar all squandered chances in front of goal.

That profligacy would come back to haunt Nepal, as Kurbonova broke the game open with a well-deserved second goal in the 67th minute, before slack defending allowed Tojinisokhon Rashidova and substitute Khojieva to add the third and fourth goals in the 74th and 78th minutes respectively.

Uzbekistan's qualification bid, while boosted, still remains in the balance, with a win over in-form Australia expected to be required if they are to be among the two teams from the group to advance to the Finals.

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