Harib Abdulla
Harib Abdulla scored a brace against Nepal Image Credit: X

The UAE continued their flawless 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign with a routine win over Nepal to make it five wins from five in Group H.

The Whites, who have already secured qualification to the next round of 2026 World Cup qualifying, demonstrated the gulf in class between the two sides from the off, taking the lead after just 12 minutes courtesy of a Harib Abdulla bullet header.

Abdulla doubled his tally less than two minutes later after Ali Saleh split the Nepal defence with a sublime pass to the UAE’s No.9, who duly slotted home to put the away side firmly in control.

Nepal grew into the game as the half went on, almost halving the deficit when Bimal Basnet struck the post before the rebound was deflected onto the crossbar.

That would be the closest Khalid Tawhid came to conceding on his debut.

Eight minutes after the break, Saleh turned scorer after feigning to shoot just inside the Nepal penalty area before despatching past the helpless Kiran Chemjong to make it three.

The small cluster of UAE fans who made the trip to Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Stadium - Nepal's Dasharath Stadium does not meet the required standards set by the Asian Football Confederation - were then treated to the goal of the night 15 minutes from time.

Hazem Mohammed produced a moment of magic with a superb lobbed finish from just beyond the centre circle after spotting Chemjong off his line.

The goal capped off a comfortable win for the UAE, repeating the score line from the reverse fixture, to move six points ahead of Bahrain at the top of Group H.

Focus now turns to the top of the table clash in Dubai next Tuesday, with the UAE hosting Bahrain in their final second round 2026 World Cup qualifying match.

Should Bahrain fail to beat Yemen this evening, the UAE will already be assured of top spot in Group H.

If Bahrain do emerge victorious against Yemen, a win or draw for the UAE in next week’s showdown at Zabeel Stadium will ensure they top the group, but if Bahrain were to win and finish with a better goal difference than the Emiratis, they would secure first place.