Asian Cup: UAE's Mubarak, Mabkhout brimming with confidence
UAE striker Ali Mabkhout vies for the ball with India's Sandesh during their AFC Asian Cup game. (Photo by Ryan Lim)
Abu Dhabi - Mabkhout said the 'Whites' will strive hard to realise the aspirations of their fans
By Ashwani Kumar
Published: Fri 11 Jan 2019, 8:43 PM
Last updated: Fri 11 Jan 2019, 10:48 PM
Al Jazira players Khalfan Mubarak and Ali Mabkhout were able to replicate their club form in the AFC Asian Cup Group A match against India and steer the UAE to winning path.
Striker Mabkhout is the club's top-scorer with 15 league goals and Mubarak got eight strikes and nine assists. And these two prolific players believe the 2-0 win over India will infuse fresh energy into the Cup campaign.
Mabkhout said the 'Whites' will strive hard to realise the aspirations of their fans.
"We are all very happy. We are all relieved to have won against India. We thank all the fans who attended the match and supported us. We will push ourselves to achieve our objectives," he said.
The striker noted that it was a high pressure match after the 1-1 draw against Bahrain.
"This has now given us the lead in the group. This important win is a big step towards qualification," he said.
Both the strikes saw calm and composed Mabkhout. He had great vision about the opportunity inside the box and released the ball for Mubarak to net the first one. And for the second goal, Mabkhout confidently controlled the ball, bamboozled defender Pritam Kotal with some brilliant footwork before blasting into the goal.
Mabkhout said he shared good rapport with Mubarak and others in the squad.
"There is great bonding between me and all my teammates. We all performed well. Scoring goals is important but more important thing is winning the match for the national team," Mabkhout said.
Meanwhile, midfielder Mubarak said the players finding form bodes well for the future matches.
"I am happy with the win. The result has had a very positive effect on the team. This will motivate us for the future matches. We hope that the victory is a sign of things to come. It was hard luck for India but absolutely the result we wanted," he said.
He hoped for continued support from the fans.
"The three points are the team's but I would like to dedicate the success to the fans as it is they who really deserve it. We now hope to achieve even more good results in the coming matches in order to make our fans even happier and to encourage more fans to come to the stadium," he said.
There were some 43,000 fans at Zayed Sports City Stadium to witness the match, which is the highest turnout so far in this edition of the Asian Cup.