Can UAE qualify for 2022 Fifa World Cup?

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on June 7, 2021
The UAE players pose during a training session in Dubai ahead of their match against Thailand. (UAEFA Twitter)

The UAE face Thailand in a crunch World Cup qualifying match tonight in Dubai

The UAE will play Thailand tonight in a crunch Group G match of the Asian World Cup qualifying round in Dubai, needing a victory to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

If the UAE win tonight, and group leaders Vietnam fail to beat Indonesia in the other match in Dubai, the home team will take the top spot in Group G with two games remaining

Recent form

The UAE beat Malaysia 4-0 in Dubai on Thursday, while Thailand were held to a 2-2 draw by Indonesia on the same day

Previous result against Thailand

In the first match between the two teams in the qualifying round, Thailand beat the UAE 2-1 in October, 2019.

Covid-hit campaign

The World Cup qualifying rounds were suspended last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All the teams in the Group G are now playing in Dubai.

Group G teams

The UAE are in Group G in the Asian World Cup qualifiers. There are four other teams in the group -- Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Only the top teams from each group will qualify for the final round of qualifiers.

Do UAE have a chance?

Yes, they have. They are currently in second position in Group G with nine points from five matches, two points behind group leaders Vietnam (11 points from five matches). If the UAE win their remaining matches against Thailand (today kick off 8:45pm UAE Time), Indonesia (June 11) and Vietnam (June 15), they will top the Group G and qualify for the next round.

But the UAE can still qualify for the next round with a second-place finish in the group if they maintain a good goal difference. The four best-placed runners-up in eight groups will qualify for the next round along with the group winners.

Current Group G Standings

Team P W D L F A P

Vietnam 5 3 2 0 5 1 11

UAE 5 3 0 2 12 4 9

Thailand 6 2 3 1 8 5 9

Malaysia 6 3 0 3 8 10 9

Indonesia 6 0 1 5 5 18 1

How many teams will qualify for next round?

Eight group winners and four best-placed runners-up teams from this round will advance to the final qualifying round.

Total 12 teams will fight for four Asian slots at the 2022 World Cup. The fifth-placed team will face an inter-confederation play-off against a team from another continent.

When did UAE qualify for the World Cup?

The UAE made their only World Cup appearance in 1990.

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