Dynamo Kiev's Maksim Shatskikh, Timur Kapadze and Alexander Geynrikh all scored off free kicks in the last 18 minutes in the surprise of the Asian Cup.
Iran, a 2-0 winner over co-host Malaysia, and Uzbekistan advanced to the quarterfinals. China, which only needed a tie to stay alive, finished with four points in third place, and Malaysia was the only one of the four co-hosts to lose all three matches.
"We spent a lot of time on free kicks because we felt that China were weak in that part of their game," said Uzbek coach Rauf Inileyev. "In fact, our whole game-plan worked very well."
Uzbekistan travels to Jakarta, Indonesia, to face Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Iran will stay in Kuala Lumpur and will face South Korea.
Vietnam, the only one of the four co-hosts to advance, plays Iraq in Bangkok. Japan and Australia meet in Hanoi in a replay of their controversial 2006 World Cup match.
July 21 in Hanoi
Japan vs. Australia
July 21 in Bangkok
Iraq vs. Vietnam
July 22 in Jakarta
Uzbekistan vs. Saudi Arabia
July 22 in Kuala Lumpur
Iran vs. South Korea