8 September 2014 18:15
A double from Odil Akhmedov helped Uzbekistan consign Anthony Hudson to a 3-1 defeat in his first match in charge of New Zealand.
Hudson was appointed head coach of the All Whites last month after leaving his position as Bahrain boss to replace the departing Ricki Herbert.
However, the 33-year-old saw his side completely overrun by a lively and fluent Uzbekistan side at the Pakhtakor Stadium on Monday.
Akhmedov dealt the first blow with a sweetly struck shot in the 40th minute and he doubled the lead in the second half with a fizzing effort from the right of the box.
Captain Server Djeparov added further gloss to the scoreline when he completed a well-worked move, before Jeremy Brockie bagged a consolation for the visitors in the closing stages.
New Zealand created the first clear-cut opening in the 21st minute when Chris Woods’ header from Chris James’ delivery forced a great save from Ignatiy Nesterov.
After surviving that scare, the hosts finished the half strongly and Sanjar Tursunov forced a fine point-blank save from New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss at the back post.
However, Uzbekistan did make the breakthrough five minutes before the break.
Akhmedov laid into the path of Djeparov who returned the ball to the striker and he produced a superb left-foot shot that curled into the top corner from 20 yards.
A second goal deservedly arrived in the 58th minute, as the ball deflected into the path of Akhmedov who drilled a first-time shot from the right into the far corner.
Djeparov then made sure of the victory with 12 minutes on the clock when he swept home from eight yards following fine Uzbekistan build-up play.
Hudson at least saw his new side score when Brockie poked home from close-range in the 86th minute, but New Zealand have now gone seven games without a win.