UAE ready for Fifa World Cup playoff against Australia: Abbas

The UAE will take on Australia in the playoff on Tuesday. The winner of the playoff will face Peru on June 13 for a place in the Fifa World Cup

Members of the UAE team during a training session in Doha on Sunday. (UAE National Team Twitter)
Members of the UAE team during a training session in Doha on Sunday. (UAE National Team Twitter)

By Team KT

Published: Sun 5 Jun 2022, 8:35 PM

With a place up for grabs at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, defender Walid Abbas said the UAE would put their best foot forward in the playoff against Australia.

The playoff between the two third-placed teams in Group A and Group B of the Asian World Cup qualifying tournament will be held at the Al Rayyan Stadium in Doha on Tuesday (10 pm UAE Time).

The winner of the UAE-Australia playoff will face Peru in the inter-continental playoff on June 13 in Doha for a place in the World Cup.

Abbas knows the magnitude of the challenge against Australia, which made four straight World Cup appearances in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.

But the UAE’s 1-0 victory over Asian giants South Korea in the final qualifying game has raised the team’s hopes going into the crunch playoff against Australia.

“All the players of the national team are ready for this challenge against Australia,” Abbas said on Sunday.

“Everyone believes in the team’s ability to present a strong match against a strong competitor. We are very confident of our chances after our morale-boosting win against South Korea last March at the end of the qualifying campaign.

“Now everyone in the team is taking the match against Australia as a Cup final.”

This will be the UAE’s first experience of playing in a crunch World Cup playoff, but Abbas said the team have enough experienced players to deal with the opponents as well the big occasion.

“We have great confidence in our ability, and we have players who have enough international experience to deal with any pressure. It is an equal confrontation for both teams, so there is no preference for one team over another,” he said.

“It is just 90 minutes, the team that plays better in the important moments and handles the pressure will the win the match. I hope that our players will be successful in that.”

The UAE will also be backed by their 12th man — the strong contingent of supporters that will be travelling to Doha for the playoff.

“Indeed, the role of the national team’s fans is indispensable. We are very happy that a lot of our fans will be at the stadium to support us,” he said.

“Their presence will boost our confidence and inspire us to play our best football on the field.”

The UAE’s only World Cup appearance came in 1990.

More news from Football