Football team eyes place in Asiad final

DUBAI - The UAE Olympic national team will look to make the nation proud with a victory against South Korea when the two meet in the semifinals of the football competition at the Asian Games at Thian Kha International Stadium in Guangzhou on Tuesday at 3pm (UAE time).

By Hisham Al Gizouli

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 23 Nov 2010, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:33 AM

Having won the AFC Under-19 Cup in Saudi Arabia two years back and finished fifth in the 2009 Egypt FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Boys in White are now eyeing a place in the history of the Games.

The 65000-seat state-of-the-art facility is expected to be fully packed by football lovers to enjoy the thrill of the game when the cream of the Asian footballers line-up for honours in a die-or-do encounter.

UAE defeated North Korea 9-8 in a penalty shootout and entered the football semifinals last Friday. After a 0-0 draw in regulation time, a shootout was needed to decide the winner in the UAE-North Korea match. UAE scored from all the nine shots from the spot while the Koreans missed the last one.

Japan, top scorers in the tournament with 14 goals, will now face former champions Iran, who defeated Oman 1-0, in the second last four tie.

South Korea were forced into extra-time before seeing off 10-man Uzbekistan 3-1 in their quarter-final and will now tackle the UAE for a place in the gold medal match.

The UAE head coach Mahdi Ali who has been watching the South Koreans as they made their progress to the last four said it’s not going to be an easy clash at all. “I have watched them playing against Uzbekistan. They are very brilliant in the counterattacks and tactically mature,” he said.

Ali is of the opinion that the Koreans have the technical edge and possess good experience in handling tough games.

The Koreans finished second in their group, which included Palestine, Jordan and North Korea. They beat Jordan 4-0, Palestine 3-0 before they lost 0-1 to their North Korean neighbours 0-1. But, the South Joreans managed to beat hosts China in the pre-quarter-finals 3-0 and edged Uzbekistan with a similar result in the quarterfinals.

Over 300 fans are expected to cheer the UAE players against South Korea. UAE players have also received the support of many fans from the Arab communities in China along with the members of the UAE delegation to the 16th Asian Games. The public relations office of the UAEFA has provided a number of UAE flags, T-Shirts and other aids for the enthusiastic fans that came from the different cities of China to cheer the UAE team.

More news from