Uzbekistan ties Jordan 2-2 in World Cup qualifier

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, AP

Vladimir Maminov and Nikolay Shirshov scored in the second half as Uzbekistan overcame a two-goal deficit after the first half to tie Jordan 2-2 Friday in an Asian Group 7 World Cup qualifier. Jordan, the group favorite, dominated the first half. Fourteen minutes into the game, Hatem Mohammad Aqel made a spurt down the left side to connect a long diagonal pass from Rateb Awadat from the right and kicked the ball down the goal line from the edge of the penalty area.

Goalkeeper Oleg Belyakov and defender Oleg Pashinin both missed the ball and striker Badran Al-Shaqran hit the net from close range, silencing the crowd. In the 24th minute, midfielder Esam Abu Tauk made it 2-0 on a power free kick from 30 meters (yards) and into the left corner of the net. Uzbekistan was close to open scoring in the 6th minute, but Georgi Georgiev’s header on a free kick from Jafar Irismetov was cleared from the goal line by defender Adnan Alshuaibat. After the break, the home side went on the offensive and in the 53rd minute, a Jordan defender fouled on Mukhtar Kurbanov in the penalty box. Vladimir Maminov converted a penalty kick to narrow the margin. Twelve minutes later, striker Nikolay Shirshov netted in the equalizer as he beat Jordan goalkeeper Ahmad Al-Khazaleh into the left corner of the goal. Jordan defender Mah’d Shilbayen was booked out in the 77th minute, but Uzbekistan failed to capitalize on a one man advantage to win the game.