Shaikh Mohammed congratulates UAE football team on World Cup qualifiers win

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on September 2, 2016 | Last updated on September 2, 2016 at 06.56 am
Shaikh Mohammed congratulates UAE football team on World Cup qualifiers win


Shaikh Mohammed thanked the young players and the coach for the joy of victory they have given to the UAE.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler, has congratulated the UAE football team on their historic win in a World Cup qualifier match.

A double strike from Ahmed Khalil helped the UAE beat Japan 2-1 in their 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifying match at the Saitama Stadium on Thursday.

Taking to microblogging site, Twitter, Shaikh Mohammed congratulated 'The Whites' - as the team is fondly known - and the country. He applauded the young players and the coach Mahdi Ali:

Khalil's wonder strike in the 20th minute and a Panenka penalty in the 54th saw the UAE dream of a World Cup berth since 1990 get a big booster.

The match was a brilliant team effort with the Great Wall of the UAE defence thwarting the barrage of Samurai intrusions in the final half hour.

It was a nail biting finish to the proceedings and keeper Khalid Eisa was a busy body. The defiant Emirati defence fought fire with fire and ensured the team down Japan for the first time in the Cup qualifiers.

Coach Mahdi Ali will be a relived man with this win. For Khalil, this is his No. 13 on the Road to Moscow 2018.  And for the record, Khalil 20th minute stunner was the first goal conceded by the Japanese defence in the World Cup qualifiers.

The Japanese defence had stood resolute for 740 minutes but it took an Emirati just 20 minutes to blow it apart.

(With inputs from Ashwani Kumar)

Read the full match report here.

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