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Tahskent: Alexander Geynrikh came off the bench to notch the winner as Uzbekistan revived their FIFA World Cup 2018 and AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifying hopes with a 1-0 win over Yemen.

Uzbekistan, who lost 4-2 away to DPR Korea in their opening Group H fixture, now have three points from two games thanks to Geynrikh’s second half winner, while Yemen occupy bottom spot following their third successive defeat.

Having watched his side struggle to find a way past a resilient Yemeni defence, Uzbekistan coach Samvel Babayan was forced to withdraw two-time AFC Player of the Year and bring on Geynrikh at the tail end of the first half, a move that paid almost immediate dividends when the Ordabasy star put his side ahead with a superb free-kick in the 51st minute.

The win is sure to hand the Uzbeks - beaten quarter-finalists at this year's AFC Asian Cup - a major boost ahead of a tricky September 8 trip to play the Philippines. Yemen will play Bahrain in the neutral venue of Doha on the same day.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.

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