Uzbekistan’s journey ended by France
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Uzbekistan’s valiant run in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 came to an end after they were defeated 1-0 by France in their quarter-final on Saturday.
Ismail Bouneb's late strike earned France a hard-fought victory and a semi-final against Mali or Morocco.
Jean-Luc Vannuchi's team, who have yet to concede a goal at the tournament, were far from their fluent best but edged through to keep their hopes of a first U-17 global crown since 2001 alive.
France dominated possession in the first half but found clear-cut chances hard to come by against a well-drilled Uzbekistan outfit.
Indeed, the Central Asian team could have gone ahead on the stroke of half-time when Yakhyo Urinboev headed at goal, but his effort was superbly saved by Paul Argney.
France came even closer on the hour mark when Joan Tincres met a corner delivery on the volley from six yards out but struck the inside of the post, before the same player sent the rebound wide.
The European side finally got the breakthrough on 83 minutes, when substitute Mathis Lambourde’s thumping header bounced off the crossbar but the ball went straight to Bouneb, who tucked away with a smart finish.
Uzbekistan forward Amirbek Saidov forced a fine save from Argney in the game's dying moments, but they could not find a way past the inspired stopper as France saw out the victory.