The UAE football team in training
The UAE football team in training Image Credit: UAE FA Twitter

UAE head coach Bert van Marwijk has called for focus after his side’s emphatic 4-0 victory against Malaysia in their World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 quest.

Ali Mabkhout and Fabio Lima both grabbed a double in the drubbing of Malaysia, but Van Marwijk has called for cool heads at the go into their next task against Thailand on Monday.

“This was a strong restart after a long stoppage,” said Van Marwijk, referring to the stop-start COVID-19-hit campaign.

“It is important that we continue performing well and winning the rest of our matches to achieve our objective of reaching the decisive stage of the Qualifiers.

“We played well in the first half and improved in the second half. We had to keep it simple to be able to manage playing in these tough weather conditions. I would like to thank the players for their discipline and sticking to the plan.”

The UAE are up to second in Group G, two points behind leaders Vietnam, following Thailand’s 2-2 draw with bottom side Indonesia. The UAE, Malaysia and Thailand are all on nine points.

“I am not concerned with other results in the group,” said Van Marwijk. “I only think about my team. We have to move on and focus on our next match on Monday.”

Malaysia’s next game takes place on Friday against Vietnam in Dubai.