UAE lacked cohesion, coordination: Coach Zaccheroni
UAE's Ahmed Khalil takes a shot at goal during the match against Bahrain.
Abu Dhabi - The Italian is confident that the hosts can bounce back against India
By Ashwani Kumar
Published: Sun 6 Jan 2019, 9:25 PM
Last updated: Sun 6 Jan 2019, 11:30 PM
UAE head coach Alberto Zaccheroni said the players lacked cohesion and lack of coordination against Bahrain in the AFC Asian Cup opener.
Following the 1-1 draw, the UAE were left to regret the chances missed by Ali Mabkhout and Ismail Al Hammadi in front of goal. Also, second-half substitutes Mohamed Abdulrahman and Saif Rashid improved supply chain to the strikers - an aspect that was lacking in the first half.
"I wish we could produce a good result in the opening game but it didn't happen. We controlled and dominated the first 15 minutes of the match. We had few chances to score but couldn't convert those into goals. We misplaced lots of passes, especially in the first half and the start of second half. Bahraini players closed space for the attackers. They used long balls and unsettled us. We didn't supply well to our attackers. Some players were very upset because of this. But later in the second half, we had chances as passes improved and attackers were fed with ball," he said after the match.
The Italian, however, is confident that the UAE can bounce back in next assignment against India.
"The UAE made huge effort and gave everything against Bahrain. At the end, some players had muscle strains. We have learnt a lot from this match. There were positives and negatives. We will analyse and evaluate the performance of the players. We will correct our mistakes and learn lessons from them to take into our next game against India. Hopefully the performance will be better."
Zaccheroni is taking solace from the 2011 edition where he helped Japan recover from their 1-1 opening match draw against Jordan to win the title by defeating Australia in the final.
"When I was in-charge of Japan, we ended with a draw in the first game of the 2011 Asian Cup against Jordan but then we won the tournament. This is a same scenario. What is very important for me is not only performance but the players should fight hard during the game and that they evolve from one game to the next."
Zaccheroni said the 'Whites' are prepared to go all the way in the tournament.
"The UAE players are prepared to face any team that has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup."
The UAE will clash against India at Zayed Sports City Stadium on Thursday.