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Uzbekistan coach Vadim Abramov: We scored a goal but the referee didn’t see it

Uzbekistan coach Vadim Abramov: We scored a goal but the referee didn’t see it

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Odil Akhmedov appeared to have scored but the referee adjudged the ball to not have crossed the line, but the White Wolves coach wasn't dwelling on the controversial decision

Uzbekistan boss Vadim Abramov says his side scored a legitimate goal which wasn't counted by referee Yuichi Nishimura but was more concerned about conceding an against-the-run-of-play late winner in Sunday's 1-0 final round 2014 World Cup qualifier defeat to Iran in Tashkent.

Odil Akhemdov appeared to have scored from close range on 72 minutes when he scrambled the ball across the line only for the lunging Sayed Jalal Hosseini to block the effort. However television replays seemed to show the ball had crossed the line before the Iranian defender's block.

Uzbekistan protested the decision and would live to regret it, when Mohammed Reza Khalatbari stole in for a 93rd-minute winner for the visitors who had struggled throughout the match.

“We scored a goal in the second half, but the referees didn’t see it. Iran had two chances and won it,” Abramov told reporters after the game.

However, the White Wolves coach was more concerned with his side's play in the dying minutes before conceding the disastrous late goal, although he insisted the result wasn't a "tragedy".

“I don’t know what did happen with us in the last minutes, sometimes we concede goals at the end of the match," he said. “We lost the game, but it is not tragedy. We have seven matches in the group and the hope will not die until the last moment.

“I changed the position of Akhmedov in the second half because we wanted to win, but you can’t always win. It is football. We are looking forward to the next games. I hope we will change our situation as our aim is to go to World Cup.”

Meanwhile, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz revelled in glory, claiming his side had adopted different tactics late in the game which ultimately proved decisive.

“Uzbekistan had several chances. After this we changed our style and we battled more against them and reached our target. I knew Uzbekistan would go forward in the last minutes, that’s why we changed our tactics and tried to score from counterattacks. We did it and our changes brought us three points.

“But it is just beginning and we have more matches. I think all matches in the group will be very tough.”

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