The Indian football team faced a second consecutive defeat at the AFC Asian Cup 2023, falling to Uzbekistan 0-3 at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Thursday.

Uzbekistan secured the victory with goals from Abbosbek Fayzullaev (4’), Igor Sergeyev (18’), and Sherzod Nasrullaev (45+3’). Despite being held to a draw by Syria in their opening match, Srecko Katanec’s side revived their hopes of qualifying for the next round.

However, this outcome dealt a significant blow to India’s chances of advancing.

Uzbekistan seized an early lead as Fayzullaev headed in from close range, taking advantage of India's failure to clear their lines.

Sergeyev then doubled their lead after Akash Mishra's clearance hit the post.

Uzbekistan soon created another promising chance against the run of play, with Fayzullaev finding himself through on goal but failing to beat Gurpreet Singh Sandhu .

It wasn’t until late in the first half that India tested Uzbekistan goalkeeper Utkir Yusupov.

Anirudh Thapa's free-kick was saved by Yusupov, and Naorem Mahesh pounced on the rebound with a well-taken effort that was also saved.

India pushed hard in the second half in an attempt to make a comeback.

They came close to reducing their deficit, with Chhetri's effort saved by Yusupov and substitute Rahul KP hitting the post soon after the second half.

In the latter stages, India created another promising chance as Rahul Bheke connected with a corner from Brandon, but Yusupov tipped his header over the bar.

Despite their efforts, India couldn't alter the outcome, marking a challenging campaign in the AFC Asian Cup. They will take on Syria next in their final group game.