UAE ready for do-or-die clash against Vietnam in World Cup qualifier

The UAE players during a training session ahead of Tuesday's clash against Vietnam. (UAEFA Twitter)
The UAE players during a training session ahead of Tuesday's clash against Vietnam. (UAEFA Twitter)

Dubai - On Tuesday, the UAE face their biggest challenge against the unbeaten Vietnam in Group G



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 6:41 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Jun 2021, 6:24 AM

After three straight wins since the resumption of the Asian World Cup qualifiers in Dubai on June 3, the UAE will enter the final round in Group G on Tuesday (8:45pm UAE Time) with the aim of beating leaders Vietnam at the Zabeel Stadium.

Bert Van Marwijk’s team have shown impressive form and rhythm in their wins over Malaysia (4-0), Thailand (3-1) and Indonesia (5-0), jumping from fourth place to the second in Group G, reviving their hopes of advancing to the third round of World Cup qualifiers.

But on Tuesday, the UAE face a Vietnam team that had beaten them 1-0 in their previous clash 18 months ago, thanks to a stunning goal from Nguyen Tien Linh.

Led by the prolific Ali Mabkhout, the top-scorer in the Asian World Cup qualifiers with 10 goals and the second highest scorer in international football among active players behind Cristiano Ronaldo with 75 goals from 91 matches, the UAE have been irresistible in front of the goal, scoring 12 goals in three games since the resumption of qualifiers.

But on Tuesday, the UAE face their biggest challenge against Vietnam, a team that have conceded only two goals in Group G.

Only the winners in all eight groups will qualify for the next round. But the UAE can still advance as one of the four best runners-up teams across eight groups.

While a victory over group leaders Vietnam will seal the deal for Van Marwijk’s men, even a defeat by a slender margin or a draw can still earn them a ticket as one of the best second-placed teams.

But Ali Salmeen, the UAE midfielder, says the team will aim for the three points against Vietnam on Tuesday.

“We know that it will not be an easy task, we are playing against the strongest team in the group. But we have faith in ourselves and are fully confident that we can do it. We are waiting for massive support from UAE fans, and will fight to achieve our goal and make them happy,” Ali Salmeen said ahead of Tuesday crunch game.

Meanwhile, Abdalla Ramadan, the 23-year-old midfielder, also said that The Whites would go all out for victory against the skillful Vietnam.

"Our opponents (Vietnam) showed high level of performance in the previous matches in the current qualifiers. They have succeeded in collecting 17 points to lead the group. But we still have the chance to overcome them and move up to the first place," he said.

And striker Sebastián Tagliabúe, who scored the fifth goal with a crisp right-footer against Indonesia on Friday, said the UAE would carry a strong momentum into Tuesday’s clash.

“We achieved three wins in a row and we have become more confident. Winning is a result of cooperation and hard work,” the Argentina-born striker said.

“Our fans will be there in the stadium on Tuesday, and we will do our best to make them happy.”

Tuesday’s matches

Final round in Group G

UAE vs Vietnam

Zabeel Stadium

Thailand vs Malaysia

Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium

Both matches start at 8:45pm UAE Time

Standings

Group G

Team P W D L F A P

Vietnam 7 5 2 0 11 2 17

UAE 7 5 0 2 20 5 15

Thailand 7 2 3 2 9 8 9

Malaysia 7 3 0 4 9 12 9

Indonesia 8 0 1 7 5 27 1


More news from Football