UAE take on Uzbekistan

UAE take on Uzbekistan

The UAE Olympic national team are all out to take on Uzbekistan in a crucial tie in the second round of the 2012 London Games qualifiers at Khalifa Stadium in Al Ain City on Wednesday.



By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Wed 23 Nov 2011, 12:22 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:14 AM

The match is scheduled to kick off at 7.20pm UAE time.

The boys in white carried out their final training session at the match venue and the head coach Mahdi Ali looked confident that they have every chance to deliver.

UAE started their campaign with a valuable away goalless draw against Australia while the Uzbeck outclassed Iraq 2-0 at home in the first round of the Group-B.

When asked about the pressure on the young boys as a result of the eject of the senior national team from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Ali said their players are experienced enough to deal with such outside factors which will hopefully have no impact on the performance of the team.

“We have been preparing well and our friendly against Belarus which we have won 4-2 last weekend was of great help for our effort. The players reversed their early 0-2 deficit into a clear 4-2 victory and that was something good. I hope to see the same fighting spirit and determination in today’s clash against Uzbekistan.”

The Uzbek coach Vadim Abramov noted that they know everything about their opponents as the UAE coach knows everything about Uzbekistan.

“We have been preparing well. We have played a friendly against Bahrain which ended in 1-1 draw and I believe it was too much useful for us. We have nothing to hide and all possibilities are open,” he said.

However, UAE are looking forward to build positively on their encouraging start and should they manage to bypass the Uzbek hurdle they will cover the majority of the road to London.

Five days later, UAE will face Iraq at the same venue before they play their away clash against Iraq at a neutral country.

The Iraqis have to play all their home games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and 2012 London Olympics qualifiers at a neutral venue following a ban by FIFA on playing in Iraq.

The world football governing body has cited general security concerns as well and the Iraq versus Jordan match, which was played in Arbil on September 2 at the Franco Hariri Stadium, saying official report emphasised clearly that the conditions foreseen under Art. 20 Par. 1 of the FIFA regulations 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil were not respected and the fact that the security plan established by the Local Organising Committee did not meet the structural, technical, organisational and operational requirement specified in FIFA Safety Regulations. Under the circumstances, the Iraqis chose to play all their home clashes in Doha.

hisham@khaleejtimes.com


More news from Football