Qosimov snubs Pakhtakor in Uzbekistan squad

Uzbekistan coach Mirjalol Qosimov selected just three players from domestic champions Pakhtakor in his Asian Cup squad on Tuesday.

Striker Igor Sergeev will fancy his chances to lead the line for Uzbekistan after scoring 11 goals in 25 games for Pakhtakor in the 2014 season, while midfielder Jamshid Iskanderov and defender Egor Krimets will also travel to Australia.

Pakhtakor claimed their second Uzbek Professional Football League title in three years last month, winning by eight points from Lokomotiv Tashkent, while third-placed Nasaf were nine further adrift.

But despite their success, Pakhtakor have only provided three players to Uzbekistan for next month's Asian Cup, while Qosimov picked five from Lokomotiv and three from Nasaf.

Bunyodkor, who finished fourth, 21 points behind archrivals Pakhtakor, have four players in the squad.

Uzbekistan's two most-capped players - Timur Kapadze and captain Server Djeparov - will appear in their fourth consecutive continental finals.

Kapadze (116 caps) and Djeparov (104) will provide the experience in midfield as Uzbekistan look to improve on their fourth-place finish in Qatar four years ago.

Uzbekistan have failed to beat Iraq in two pre-tournament friendlies, losing 1-0 and then drawing 0-0, while they will begin their campaign on January 10 in Group B against North Korea in Sydney.

China will be Uzbekistan's second opponent, before a clash with Saudi Arabia.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Ignatiy Nesterov (Lokomotiv Tashkent), Eldor Suyunov (Nasaf), Akbar Turaev (Bunyodkor)

Defenders: Shavkat Mullajanov (Lokomotiv Tashkent), Islom Tukhtakhodjaev (Lokomotiv Tashkent), Egor Krimets (Pakhtakor), Anzur Ismailov (Changchun Yatai), Vitaliy Denisov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Akmal Shorakhmedov (Bunyodkor)

Midfielders: Odil Ahmedov (Krasnodar), Server Djeparov (Seongnam), Jamshid Iskanderov (Pakhtakor), Lutfulla Turaev (Lokomotiv Tashkent), Timur Kapadze (Aktobe), Sanzhar Tursunov (Vorskla), Aziz Haydarov (Al Shabab), Farrukh Sayfiev (Nasaf), Jasur Khasanov (Lokomotiv Tashkent), Sardor Rashidov (Bunyodkor), Shuhrat Muhammadiev (Nasaf)

Forwards: Vokhid Shodiev (Bunyodkor), Igor Sergeev (Pakhtakor), Bakhodir Nasimov (Padideh)