UAE prep for twin qualifiers with win over Bangladesh

UAE prep for twin qualifiers with win over Bangladesh
Ali Ahmed Mabkhout

Dubai - The UAE are prepping for the two Qualifiers against Palestine and Saudi Arabia over the next two weeks.



By James Jose

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2016, 4:25 PM

Last updated: Sat 19 Mar 2016, 6:26 PM

The UAE tuned up their twin 2018 FIFA World Cup/ 2019 AFC Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers against Palestine and Saudi Arabia with a commanding victory over Bangladesh.
The Whites, without their frontman Ali Ahmed Mabkhout, defeated Bangladesh, 6-1 in an international football friendly on Friday night.
The friendly was played out behind closed doors at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi as UAE coach Mahdi Ali preferred to keep his cards close to his chest ahead of the crucial Qualifiers.
Ahmed Ali and substitute Salem Saleh, a late call-up for the injured Mabkhout, finished with a brace of goals, while Ismail Al Hammadi and AFC Player of the Year Ahmed Khalil scored one each.
Nabib Newaj Jibon pulled one back for Bangladesh.
The UAE are prepping for the two Qualifiers against Palestine and Saudi Arabia over the next two weeks. The Whites play host to Palestine on March 24after which they take on strong contenders Saudi Arabia on March 29. Both fixtures will be played at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, UAE's nominated home venue.
Wins against Palestine and Saudi Arabia are paramount for the Whites to move into the final stage of the qualifying round. Winners from the eight groups as well as the four best second-placed teams progress to the next stage. The UAE are currently second, three points behind the Saudis.
The UAE didn't take long to break the deadlock with Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi putting them ahead in the opening minute itself. Al Hammadi slotted in to an open goal after being fed by club teammate Habib Al Fardan.
But their joy was short-lived as Nabib Newaj Jibon cancelled that out minutes later for Gonzalo Sanchez Moreno's side. Bangladesh, 113 places below the UAE, then kept their hosts at bay for the rest of the half.
The UAE did manage to double the lead minutes into the second half through Ahmed Khalil, who headed home from an Amer Abdulrahman corner. Ahmed Ali, who had missed a couple of opportunities in the first half, finally got one by directing Al Hammadi's cross into an open goal.
Al Nasr's Salem Saleh then fired a brace after which Ahmed Ali too completed his double.
james@khaleejtimes.com


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