Hosting its regional championship just one month after FIFA decided it will stage the 2022 World Cup, Qatar lost to 109th-ranked Uzbekistan 2-0 Friday night in the opener of the quadrennial Asian Cup.

Odil Akhmedov scored on a booming 30-yard shot in the 58th minute, and Server Djeparov intercepted a pass and doubled the lead from just outside the penalty area in the 76th.

For 114th-ranked Qatar, Fabio Cesar's free kick hit a post just before halftime and Hussain Yaser's shot was cleared by defender Sakhob Juraev.