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UAE football boss backs National team to improve

UAE football boss backs National team to improve
SUPPORTING THE WHITES: Marwan bin Ghalita (left) attended the UAE's match against Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. -UAEFA Twitter

Dubai - Marwan bin Ghalita is optimistic that The Whites will get it all together over the course of their World Cup qualifying campaign

By James Jose

Published: Thu 12 Sep 2019, 9:49 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 Sep 2019, 12:02 AM

UAE Football Association (UAE FA) President Marwan bin Ghalita has backed the team to improve over the course of their World Cup qualifying campaign after grinding out a win over Malaysia in their opening fixture.
The UAE rallied from a goal down to beat the Malayan Tigers 2-1 at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday night.
It was thanks to Al Jazira frontman Ali Mabkhout's brace that The Whites accumulate full points after finding themselves a goal down in the opening seconds of the Group G encounter.
Marwan bin Ghalita said it was important to realise that the team is in the midst of a transition with some older players making way for young blood and said that it was up to the FA and the fans to believe in coach Bert van Marwijk and his men.
"It was a difficult game but the team achieved what was required of them, especially considering the fact that we have replaced some of the players," said Marwan bin Ghalita.
"The most important thing is that we achieved a win. It is true that the performance wasn't satisfactory and not according the level that we expected because we know what this team is capable of. But to start with three points in our qualifying campaign means we achieved our first objective," he added.
Bin Ghalita said it was important to give the team the confidence and he was optimistic of an improved showing in the future.
"I'm optimistic about the future of the National team and I am sure that the coach will work to improve the performance during the next stage. What is needed now is to inspire confidence in the players and the team as a whole," bin Ghalita said.
Meanwhile, the UAE Under-16 team drew 1-1 wit Uzbekistan in their second friendly during the camp in Tashkent Uzbekistan.
The squad, coached by Majed Salem, are preparing for the 2020 AFC Championship qualifiers to be held in Kyrgyzstan, next week.
The UAE have been placed in Group F for the qualifiers along with Iraq, Lebanon and the hosts Kyrgyzstan. Their first match is against Iraq on September 18 followed by the game against Kyrgyzstan on September 20. The UAE's final match is against Lebanon on September 22.
The 11 group winners and the four best runners-up qualify for the final tournament. The tournament proper will be played from September 16 to October 3, 2020, with the venue yet to be confirmed by the AFC. The UAE had finished runners-up when the tournament was held on home soil in 1990. They were also semifinalists in the 2008 edition held in Uzbekistan.

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