Suspicious goal scored by goalkeeper raises questions

A goal scored by Uzbekistan goalkeeper Jasurbek Umrzakov in a 3-1 win over North Korea has raised plenty of eyebrows during the AFC Under-16 Championship.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan players celebrate scoring against North Korea. Source: AFC

With the score locked at 0-0, Umrzakov punted the ball long from his penalty box, and while it seemed harmless at first, North Korea's goalkeeper misjudged it terribly, letting it fly straight over his head. 

As the ball bounced its way towards goal, the North Korean 'keeper inexplicably appeared to pause and slow down, then he dived in the direction of the ball, despite being at least four meters away from it, before finally diving short once again as the ball bobbled over the line.

The other two goals that Uzbekistan scored did little to dampen suggestions that North Korea were not trying their hardest to win the match. 

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The winner of the match would top the group as both sides were equal on six points heading into the final match. 

The victory means Uzbekistan will now face Iraq in the quarter-finals, while North Korea will face Oman. 

 

Uzbekistan coach Timur Alimkhodjayev seemed surprised by the incident. 

"To be honest, this is the first time a team I have coached has ever scored via the goalkeeper. I guess their 'keeper made some mistakes," Alimkhodjayev said. 

"In my opinion, though, the strongest team of the group won this match and deserved to top the group. In fact, we could have scored more goals.

"I know that DPR Korea made some changes to their squad for the game but so did we. In spite of our changes, we still wanted to win the game. It's our aim to win in every game."

Yun Jong-su, North Korea's coach, did not address the matter directly. 

"We made quite a lot of changes today because we have to prepare for the quarter-finals," Yun said.

"We wanted to give more experience to some of our players who haven't played in the tournament yet and also to see their abilities at this level. 

"I have two players in mind from this game who I may now use for the quarter-finals. We will do our best in the last eight and prepare well for the match ahead."


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2 min read
Published 24 September 2016 at 1:05pm
By Nick Stoll