Crucial tie for UAE’s title defence

Crucial tie for UAE’s title defence

UAE lost to Oman by the odd goal in three when the two last met in the tournament opener in Abu Dhabi in 2007.

By Hisham Al Gizouli (Principal Correspondent)

Published: Fri 14 Nov 2014, 2:16 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:38 PM

Dubai — The UAE face neighbouring Oman in a crucial tie as the Whites are looking forward to kick off their Gulf Cup title defence campaign at the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Staium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Friday. The match is set to start at 6.45pm UAE time.

Ironically, UAE lost to Oman by the odd goal in three when the two last met in the tournament opener in Abu Dhabi in 2007. And, two had then the two met in the title clash in which Ismail Matar’s goal earned the UAE their first Gulf silverware.

But, Mahdi Ali and his boys would not want to lose the opener but would rather prefer to continue their dominance in the 16th head to head confrontation. UAE Have prevailed in nine, Oman have won three and five matches were drawn.

And while Mahdi Ali believes in his fortunes to retain the crown that he has won on his first appearance in the Gulf Cup last time out, he’s also well aware that any misfortune may not be acceptable as he prepares to continue his successful march at the continental level. And apart from the strong support the Whites have been receiving, top sports officials headed for Riyadh to stand behind the boys in their campaign which many believe that it’s very important for the country’s football.

Shaikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan attended the final workout and spoke to the players urging them to delight their fans and do pride for their young nation by keeping the trophy in Abu Dhabi for the second time in a row

Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health, Mohammed Saeed Al Dhahiri, UAE ambassador to KSA, Ebrahim Abdulmalik, secretary general of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, Yousuf Yaqoob Al Serkal, president of the UAEFA have joined the signatories on the cap which carries the logo of the national campaign in support of the Whites during the workout at the Riyadh Stadium on Wednesday ahead of the opening clash against Oman on Friday.

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