UAE eye slice of Asiad history

The UAE national team will look to make history when they line up against Japan in the final of the football competition of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou.

By (Hisham Al Gizouli)

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Published: Thu 25 Nov 2010, 3:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 9:03 AM

Japan advanced to the final after beating Iran 2-1 while UAE shattered South Korea’s 24-year-long dream of an Asian Games football gold medal with a 1-0 extra-time victory.

According to Mohammed Obaid Hammad, UAE national teams’ manager, all his players are in their best form and remained fully relaxed and focused after their tough clash against South Korea.

“The players have exceeded all our expectations and they did everything right against South Korea. Reaching the final of the competition is a great achievement by itself, but now the sky is the limit. Our dreams have grown bigger,” Hammad said.

Top performer and the maestro of the midfield Amer Abdul Rahman said they are determined to delight their fans and do their nation proud.

“Our clash against Korea was very tough. We have been facing some difficulties after the injury to Ahmed Khalil, but we are happy that he’s made a quick return to the pitch.

“I think we have every chance to make history and win the first-ever Asian Games gold medal for the country,” he added.

Al Ain’s playmaker Omer Abdul Rahman echoed the same opinion saying that they will give their best in the final. “It’s a tough test and we will live up to the challenge,” he promised.

The UAE keepers’ coach Hassan Ismail said Al Jazira’s keeper Ali Khusaif played a crucial role in the qualification of the national team to the final.

“Khusaif is a gift of heavens to the UAE football. The courageous saves, which he has made against Japan, were the main factor behind the victory. I think he is a true champion,” he said.

Meanwhile, the players dedicated the victory to the injured keeper Yousuf Abdul Rahman who’s recovering from a road accident.

Shaikh Saif congratulates team

Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, who is also the president of Bani Yas Sports Club, congratulated the UAE Olympic national team on the great achievement after advancing to the final of the football competition of the ongoing Asian Games in China.

Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, president of the UAEFA, thanked Shaikh Saif for his morale-boosting call and reiterated that the FA will make every move to promote the UAE football.

Big crowd cheers UAE players

Over 1000 fans are expected to attend the match to cheer UAE players in the final against Japan. The UAE delegation to the Games has distributed UAE flags and T-Shirts to the faithful fans from the Arab communities and football lovers.

UAE in red colours

The UAE will appear in the red colours while Japan will wear the distinguished blue jerseys, according to the decision of the competitions committee of the championship.

Meanwhile, Iran and South Korea will clash for minor places at the same venue earlier in the afternoon.

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