BEIRUT, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Odil Ahmedov scored on the stroke
of halftime to give Uzbekistan a 1-0 win over Lebanon in their
opening third round 2010 World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.
Ahmedov's 44th-minute strike gave the Uzbeks the early lead
in Group Four to boost their chances of reaching their first
World Cup finals after three failed attempts since gaining
independence from the Soviet Union.
Their last campaign ended in acrimony when FIFA ordered the
replay of a group match with Bahrain because of a mistake by a
referee. Their subsequent defeat denied the central Asian side a
a chance to playoff for a berth in the 2006 finals in Germany.
Uzbekistan and Lebanon are contesting the group with Saudi
Arabia and Singapore, with the top two teams advancing to the