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UAE prepare for Vietnam qualifier

Mahdi Ali’s men have ‘high morale’ ahead of Wednesday’s clash

Image Credit: Courtsey: UAE Football Association
Habib Fardan (4) player of UAE football team, is seen during the match against North Korea.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE started training in Hanoi on Monday, in preparation for Wednesday’s game against Vietnam in the qualifiers of the 2015 Asian Cup.

The team arrived on Sunday following a short training camp in China during which they played a friendly match against North Korea on Thursday. They lost 1-0 following a penalty.

While the UAE were missing key players such as Omar Ali Mabkhoot, Khamis Esmail, Mohammad Ahmad and Abdul Aziz Sangoor due to injury, the technical staff, headed by coach Mahdi Ali, were satisfied with the team’s performance in the match.

It was the first defeat for the UAE since September 6, when they lost to 1-0 Japan in another friendly match, before they went on to win the 21st Gulf Cup in Bahrain last month, beating Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq.

Team manager Mutrif Al Shamsi said: “The players all have a high morale and have recovered from the slight injuries which some of them sustained while playing with their clubs in the domestic competitions before joining the national team.

“We have great hopes of winning the game against Vietnam despite the fact that the Vietnamese have a good and well-organised team, and they also have dreams of reaching the finals in Australia, but we have confidence in this generation of players.”

The UAE will compete in Group 5 of the qualifiers alongside favourites Uzbekistan and Hong Kong, who will face each other on Wednesday in Tashkent at the Pakhtakor Stadium.

The UAE’s match will kick off at 3pm UAE time.

The UAE squad will be chosen from the following players: Ahmad Khalil, Abdul Aziz Haidal, Abdul Aziz Sangoor, Esmail Al Hammadi and Majid Hassan from Al Ahli club; Mohammad Fawzi, Amer Abdul Rahman and Habboush Saleh from Bani Yas; Ali Khaseef, Khalid Eisa, Ali Al Ameri, Khamis Esmail, Abdulla Mousa and Ali Mabkhoot from Al Jazira; Waleed Abbass from Al Shabab; Habib Fardan from Al Nasr; Omar Abdul Rahman, Dawood Sulaiman, Mohannad Al Enazy and Mohammad Ahmad from Al Ain; Esmail Mattar, Hamdan Al Kamali and Saeed Al Kathiri from Al Wahda.