Bert van Marwijk. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Rangsit: Bert van Marwijk has expressed his frustration after his UAE side went down 2-1 to Thailand in their World Cup and Asian Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

The Dutchman claimed he was ‘sad’ at the outcome as the men in white put in a lacklustre performance at the Thammasat Stadium in Rangsit and they were consistently outclassed by their opponents. Ali Mabkhout had levelled for the visitors following Teerasil Dangda’s early opener, but they went down after Ekanit Panya struck the winner in the second half.

The UAE are now in third spot in Group G behind the Thais and Vietnam and Van Marwijk knows his side now have their work cut out if they are to progress to the next phase of qualifying. They travel to face the Vietnamese in Hanoi on November 14.

“The result of the match makes sense especially after the outstanding performance of the Thailand team, who deserved to win and lead the group,” he said. “But I was saddened after Thailand’s second goal, which frustrated me a lot, although I was happy with Mabkhout’s goal. We tried to equalise, but we weren’t successful and could not translate the chances into goals.

“Although I am not satisfied with the performance, we were almost going to win the match, especially with the last opportunity in the second half and the final minutes of the match.”

Omar Abdul Rahman made his first start for the UAE in over a year out through injury, but he was largely ineffectual and was substituted after 70 minutes.

“I had certain technical goals behind the involvement of Omar Abdul Rahman in the game, because I am a big fan of the player who is one of the best of their coaching, which is also the best in the continent,” said Van Marwijk. “Omar did well, and I took him out after 70 minutes for a bigger attack. Indeed, the team had several chances that would have won, but in general this is football, and we must accept what it imposes on us.”