Van Marwijk pleased with UAE's 3-0 win over Yemen
Van Marwijk praised the team's efforts and the way they maintained their tempo throughout the ninety minutes
Having seen his team get off to a flying start in the Gulf Cup in Doha with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Yemen, Bert van Marwijk, the team's Dutch coach, said he was happy with the level of his team's play in their tournament opener.
Ali Mabkhout's brilliant hat trick sent the UAE to the top of the Group A standings despite Iraq's stunning 2-1 win over hosts Qatar in the first game on Tuesday.
Van Marwijk praised the team's efforts and the way they maintained their tempo throughout the ninety minutes.
The former Netherlands coach knows his team need to perform even better if they want to qualify for the semifinals.
But he said Iraq's win over Qatar had no impact on his team as his men are only focusing on their own game.
Meanwhile, Ali Mabkhout said he would never be able to score goals in the national colours without the support of his teammates.
The prolific striker was happy to have scored the first hat trick in the latest edition of the Gulf Cup, but he said the team performance always matters more to him and helping the team get the three points was the most satisfying aspect from the team's opener.
The UAE's all-time top scorer also said the team have already begun their preparations for the second game against Iraq on Friday.
The three goals on Tuesday also helped Mabkhout reach a new landmark in his career as he is now the highest scorer for the UAE in the Gulf Cup with 11 goals, beating Fahd Khamis's record of 10 goals.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Qasim Majid scored two first-half goals to give Iraq a 2-1 win over Asian champions Qatar in the opening match on Tuesday.
Qasim Majid's attempted cross found the net 18 minutes into the Group A match, and the midfielder doubled their lead with a stunning shot from outside the box nine minutes later.
Substitute Abdul-Aziz Hatem pulled one back for the tournament hosts four minutes into the second half, but Iraq held on to avenge their defeat to Qatar in the Asian Cup's last 16 earlier this year.
Qatar were also hit with the injury of Iraq-born defender Bassam Al-Rawi who suffered a broken leg, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) said.
The UAE will face Iraq, while Qatar meet Yemen on Friday. (With inputs from Reuters)
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