Paris achieved, now for Under-23 Asian Cup

DOHA: As delighted as Timur Kapadze was that his side had achieved their target of qualifying for the Olympic Games, the head coach stressed that he would only truly be satisfied if Uzbekistan lift the Under-23 Asian Cup trophy a second time.

The Central Asian side were simply too strong for Indonesia in their semi-final in Doha, Qatar, yesterday, with Khusain Norchaev giving them the lead and Pratama Arhan turning the ball into his own net to send Uzbekistan into their third final in four editions.

Up next are Japan, with both teams bidding to become the first side to lift the coveted trophy for a second time.

"I dedicate this victory to our President, our people and our supporters," said Kapadze.

"The game was very tough but we must now prepare well because there's one more game.

"We've achieved our first target but now, we must aim to achieve the second target of bringing home the cup."

A dominant performance at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium saw Uzbekistan register 28 shots with Indonesia not managing even one.

Norchaev struck the opener in the 68th minute before Pratama 's own goal in the 86th minute settled the contest, with Uzbekistan also hitting the woodwork four times.

Yet, Kapadze wasn't entirely pleased as he felt the pressure to reach the final had an impact on his team's finishing.

"It's true we dominated this game, my players were better physically and tactically. It was a game where we felt the pressure because we wanted to go to the Olympics.

"We can do more but as I said, this was a pressure game for us. We had many chances to score but didn't convert most of them so we made some mistakes as well, which we have to analyse and work on."

Captain Abdurauf Buriev was delighted with their Olympic achievement but at the same time urged them to remain focused.

"There was no pressure on me by being the captain, it gave me some additional motivation and I focused on the game and obtaining the victory," the Olympic Tashkent player said.

"It is a very big moment in my career (to qualify for the Olympics) but I cannot say anything (more) because it was a very emotional match and we still have one game to prepare for."

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