6 Feb 2012

Australia face tough ask to qualify for Olympic football

5:57 am on 6 February 2012

Australian hopes of qualifying for this year's Olympic football tournament nosedived with a 2-0 away loss to group leaders Uzbekistan in freezing Tashkent.

The loss leaves Australia five points behind Uzbekistan in their Asian qualifying group with just two of the six rounds remaining.

While the kickoff was brought forward five hours to 3pm local time, the temperature was still an uncomfortable -12 degrees celcius.

The Olyroos' goal drought continued after the opening three games finished 0-0.

The visitors had two goals disallowed, one in each half.

Shortly after Kenja Turaev gave Uzbekistan the lead with a 27th minute long range effort.

Then Jason Hoffman had a goal rubbed out for offside.

Mitch Nicholls netted just after the hour, but the goal was disallowed for an infringement in the penalty area.

Nicholls also picked up a yellow card during the game.

Oleg Zoteev secured the win for the home team with a sublime volley in the 85th minute.