Uzbekistan name squad to play New Zealand at FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup

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Uzbekistan have drawn heavily on players from their domestic leagues for their 21-player squad named to meet New Zealand at the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Of the squad, 19 play for clubs in the Uzbekistan Super League or competitions one tier below.

The exceptions are centre-back Abdukodir Khusanov and midfielder Umarali Rakhmonaliev.

Khusanov plays in the Belarusian Premier League with Energetik Minsk. He’s considered the leader of the Uzbek backline and was a key component in the Uzbekistan U-20 side that won the Asian Cup.

Main photo: The Uzbekistan squad celebrate winning the U-20 Asian Cup. Photo credit: FIFA.

Rakhmonaliev plays for troubled Russian club Rubin Kazan, relegated from that country’s Premier League last season.

Another player to watch is attacking midfielder Abbosbek Fayzullaev who was named Player of the Tournament at the U-20 Asian Cup.

Though only 19, he’s already won two Uzbek Premier League titles with Pakhtakor and an Uzbek Super Cup winner’s medal.

Head coach is Ravshan Khaydarov (61) who has a 20-year coaching and managerial career, mostly with Uzbek clubs.

He was Uzbekistan Coach of the Year in 2018 and has coached the country’s U-23 and U-20 sides for the past five years.

Uzbekistan squad

Otabek Boymurodov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Asror Kenzhaev (Neftchi)
Edem Nemanov (Chigatoy)

Abdukodir Khusanov (Energetik-BGU Minsk)
Makhmud Makhamadjonov (Bunyodkor)
Saidafzalkhon Akhrorov (Turn Yaypan)
Jakhongir Urozov (Bunyodkor)
Abubakir Ashurov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Diyor Ortikboev (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Izzatillo Pulatov (Metallurg Bekabad)
Zafarmurod Abdurakhmatov (Nasaf Qarshi)

Bekhruz Askarov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Sherzod Esanov (Andijon)
Shakhzod Rakhmatullaev (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Shakhzod Akromov (Nasaf Qarshi)
Nodir Abdurazzakov (AGMK Olmaliq)
Abbosbek Fayzullaev (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Umarali Rakhmonaliev (Rubin Kazan)

Shakhzod Nematjonov (Metallurg Bekabad)
Pulatkhuja Kholdorkhonov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)
Rustam Turdimurodov (Pakhtakor Tashkent)

Head coach
Ravshan Khaydarov

How Uzbekistan qualified

Uzbekistan will go to the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup for a fifth time, representing Asia.

They qualified for the tournament by reaching the last four of the U-20 Asian Cup, beating Australia in the quarter-final.

They went on to win the Asian Cup for the first time, beating South Korea (semi-final) and Iraq (final).

The tournament was held in Uzbekistan.


New Zealand are in the same group as hosts Argentina, and Guatemala and Uzbekistan at the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup, due to start on May 20.

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Game to be played on Sunday May 21, 2023 (NZT)

Guatemala v New Zealand
Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, Santiago del Estoro, 6am (NZT)

Check out the stadium for New Zealand’s opening game:

Game to be played on Wednesday May 24, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Uzbekistan
Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades, Santiago del Estoro, 6am (NZT)

Game to be played on Saturday May 27, 2023 (NZT)

New Zealand v Argentina
Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan, 9am

The 25,000-capacity Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, where New Zealand will play Argentina. Photo credit: Enrique Guardia.

Full schedule

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