Brilliant UAE qualify for league phase

The UAE qualified for the league phase of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics after a 1-1 draw against North Korea at the Tahnoon bin Mohammed Stadium in Al Ain on Thursday night.

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Published: Fri 24 Jun 2011, 12:34 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:10 AM

North Korea couldn’t cope with the long journey and the sapping heat of 37 degrees in the Middle East and had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the return leg. The UAE had won the first of the two legs 1-0 against the Koreans with Mohammed Ahmed scoring the match winner in the 56th minute in Pyongyang.

The UAE only needed a draw to qualify for the Asian group stage which begins in September.

UAE coach Emirati Mahdi Ali had a fully fit squad to choose from. Korean coach Jo In-Chol had said pre-match that the heat will be a disadvantage for his side. UAE advanced to a four-nation group, one of the three for the second round.

The winner of the three groups will advance to the London Olympics, while the three runners-up will play each other in a play-off. The winner of that play-off will play the fourth-ranked team from Africa in another play-off for a berth at the London Olympic in 2012.

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