UAE Olympic team coach Al Abdouli pleased with Bahrain friendly

UAE Olympic team coach Al Abdouli pleased with Bahrain friendly
Action from the friendly between the UAE and Bahrain at the Theyab Awana ground at the UAE Football Association headquarters in Al Khawaneej.

By James Jose

Published: Tue 27 Jun 2017, 8:56 PM

Last updated: Fri 30 Jun 2017, 12:27 AM

UAE Olympic team coach Hassan Al Abdouli said that the friendly against Bahrain was a good run out to test the fitness of the squad ahead of the AFC Under-23 Championship China 2018 Qualifiers next month.
The UAE beat Bahrain 3-2 in a friendly at the Theyab Awana ground at the UAE Football Association headquarters in Al Khawaneej over the weekend.
After a goalless first half, Al Obeid put the UAE ahead just a minute after the break and Ali Eid added cushion to that lead on 66 minutes. But Bahrain bounced back and restored parity through Ahmed Mubarak and Hazza Ali Hazza, who scored on 78 and 86 minutes respectively. The UAE were to emerge winners though with Jassim Yaqoob scoring the winner on 88 minutes.
The UAE are scheduled to have three more training camps during which they are slated to play three more friendlies as a tune-up for to the qualifiers next month. A total of 40 teams will be hoping to be among the 16 to book their ticket for the tournament to be held in China from January 9 to 27, 2018.
The UAE have been drawn in Group D of the qualifiers and the other teams in their pool are Uzbekistan, Lebanon and Nepal. UAE are the host country for Group D and the matches will take place at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium in Al Ain from July 19 to 23. The UAE take on Nepal in their Group D opener.
The 10 group winners and the five best runners-up will qualify for the tournament. China, despite qualifying automatically as hosts, have opted to compete in the qualifiers. And in the event of China topping their group or if they finish among the five best runners-up, the sixth best runners-up will also make their way in.
"It was a positive result for us and it helped us guage the team as well as the bench strength that we have," Al Abdouli told the UAE Football Association's official website.
"We started the game with a strong line-up and then used our substitutes during the second half of the game. We were keen on seeing their readiness as well as their fitness. We have certainly gleaned positives but we have also identified a few negatives, which we will work on, in the coming days," added Al Abdouli, who was assistant coach to former UAE coach Mahdi Ali.
The squad will have another training camp from until July 1 after which they will embark on a external training camp in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from July 2 to 6. They are scheduled to play two friendlies against Saudi Arabia on July 3 and 5.
The squad will be in Al Ain from July 7 to 14 during which they will play a friendly against Tajikistan on July 10.

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