In a refreshing antidote to the stodginess that mars most international games -- especially ones as important as World Cup qualifiers -- Uzbekistan versus Qatar, which ended up Protected content the hosts' favour, was mad. Quite delightfully mad. There was nothing short of an all-out brawl that this game was missing. Insane scrambles in the box. Great saves. Stunning long-rangers. Goalkeeper spills. Woodwork rattling. Fantastic finishing. Thanks to events in Seoul, turned it out not to matter, but the match was too fun not to talk about.
Uzbekistan went into the match knowing that a win plus some help from South Korea could see them overtake Iran in AFC Group A, which would mean an automatic spot at the Protected content Cup. As might be expected, they came out of the gate firing, racking up a half-dozen chances in the first half alone.