UAE 3-2 Kyrgyz Republic (After Extra Time)

Abu Dhabi: Host nation the United Arab Emirates kept alive their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 title ambitions on Monday, as an extra-time Ahmed Khalil penalty helped secure a hard-fought 3-2 win over Kyrgyz Republic and a place in the quarter-finals.

In truth, Alberto Zaccheroni’s side struggled for large periods of a game which saw Khalil’s success from 12 yards seal their progress only after Kyrgyz Republic had twice come from behind following Khamis Esmaeel’s early opener at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium.

On a night when tournament debutants Kyrgyz Republic shone brightly, the UAE’s victory sets up a quarter-final showdown with Australia in Al Ain on Friday, and maintained Emirati hopes of claiming a first-ever Continental crown.

Entering the game as Group A winners, the UAE began brightly, and after Valeri Kichin’s splendid last-ditch tackle had robbed Ali Mabkhout when the striker was bearing down on goal, they went ahead in the 13th minute through a fine Esmaeel header from Ismaeil Matar’s corner.

Having impressed during the group stage, Kyrgyz Republic bounced back in fine fashion shortly before the half-hour mark, Akhlidin Israilov’s delightful pass finding Akhlidin Israilov who rounded UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisa and finished with aplomb to draw his side level.

 

Clearly buoyed by the equaliser, Kyrgyz Republic refused to concede an inch to their opponents, although Matar threatened to restore the UAE’s lead when he fizzed a shot from distance narrowly over as the first half drew to a close.

After the break, Mabkhout almost immediately headed Bandar Mohammed’s pinpoint cross inches wide of the post, before a curling Kichin delivery eluded its intended target and thudded against Eisa’s crossbar with the custodian beaten.

However, any momentum Kyrgyz Republic had been building was brought to a sudden halt on 64 minutes as the UAE went ahead once again, this time Mabkhout collecting Amer Abdulrahman’s pass and drilling the ball beyond Kutman Kadyrbekov in the Kyrgyz Republic goal.

 

To their eternal credit, Kyrgyz Republic refused to buckle, and after Vitalij Lux, who bagged a hat-trick last time out, had flashed a late effort agonisingly wide, Tursunali Rustamov headed home a last gasp equaliser following Anton Zemlianukhin’s cross to send the pulsating match into extra-time.

Mabkhout spurned an early chance in the second minute of the additional 30, before – just 60 seconds later – the striker was brought down in the area by Bekzhan Sagynbaev. Substitute Ahmed Khalil stepped up to convert the resulting penalty and put his side ahead yet again.

 

Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov’s header then brushed an upright and the seemingly omnipresent Rustamov crashed a shot against the bar in the final seconds.

However, it was not to be though for the Central Asians, as the UAE held firm to seal their ticket through to the last eight and signal Kyrgyz Republic’s departure from a competition in which they had often more than held their own.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

United Arab Emirates 1 – 1 Bahrein

UAE-Bahrain1

Abu Dhabi:  A last gasp Ahmed Khalil penalty ensured host nation the United Arab Emirates a share of the spoils as they drew 1-1 with Bahrain in their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group A opener on Saturday.

With time running out, Khalil impressively held his nerve to convert from 12 yards for the 1996 AFC Asian Cup runners-up after Mohamed Al Rohaimi had given a resilient Bahrain the lead just 10 minutes earlier.

The draw, played out in front of a vocal crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, sees the regional rivals tied at the top of the Group A standings ahead of Sunday’s match between fellow group hopefuls India and Thailand.

After a cautious opening, it was to be the UAE who threatened first, striker Ali Mabkhout expertly finding Ismail Al Hammadi who raced into the area and fired narrowly wide of Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar’s far post with six minutes played.

With the Emiratis slowly but surely gaining an albeit tentative foothold in the game, Mabkhout scuffed an effort when well-placed and then blasted a shot over the bar from 15 yards after a fine Ali Salmin cross on 23 minutes.

Bahrain’s first genuine opportunity followed shortly after, but the impressive Al Rohaimi failed to find the target with a header from Komail Al Aswad’s curled delivery.

In the final moments of an intriguing first half, Al Aswad came within inches of handing Bahrain the lead only for his delightful free-kick from 25 yards to flash narrowly over the bar.

The opening moments of the second period duly followed the pattern of the first, as the UAE looked to impose themselves on their opponents who still carried a threat.

Indeed, UAE custodian Khalid Eisa had to be at his very best in the 52nd minute to palm away Ali Madan’s fierce drive and expertly block Al Rohaimi’s subsequent follow-up.

The seemingly omnipresent Mabkhout then flashed a shot inches wide of the target as the UAE continued to search for the breakthrough, before Al Rohaimi brought the best out of Eisa with a low drive that the goalkeeper did well to palm away to safety.

Bahrain’s resilience was though to pay handsome dividends on 78 minutes when they took the lead. Defender Sayed Redah Isa crossed to Al Rohaimi who saw his initial header cleared off the line before ramming home the rebound.

There was, however, more drama to come as Bahrain substitute Mohamed Mahroon, who had only just come on, handled in the area on 88 minutes and Ahmed Khalil rammed home the resulting penalty to ensure his side a point.

The UAE are next in action when they face India at the same venue on Thursday, with Bahrain set to face Thailand in Dubai on the same day.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

#AFCAsianCup2019 UAE 3-2 Kyrgyz Republic (After Extra Time)

Abu Dhabi: Host nation the United Arab Emirates kept alive their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 title ambitions on Monday, as an extra-time Ahmed Khalil penalty helped secure a hard-fought 3-2 win over Kyrgyz Republic and a place in the quarter-finals.

In truth, Alberto Zaccheroni’s side struggled for large periods of a game which saw Khalil’s success from 12 yards seal their progress only after Kyrgyz Republic had twice come from behind following Khamis Esmaeel’s early opener at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium.

On a night when tournament debutants Kyrgyz Republic shone brightly, the UAE’s victory sets up a quarter-final showdown with Australia in Al Ain on Friday, and maintained Emirati hopes of claiming a first-ever Continental crown.

Entering the game as Group A winners, the UAE began brightly, and after Valeri Kichin’s splendid last-ditch tackle had robbed Ali Mabkhout when the striker was bearing down on goal, they went ahead in the 13th minute through a fine Esmaeel header from Ismaeil Matar’s corner.

Having impressed during the group stage, Kyrgyz Republic bounced back in fine fashion shortly before the half-hour mark, Akhlidin Israilov’s delightful pass finding Akhlidin Israilov who rounded UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisa and finished with aplomb to draw his side level.

 

Clearly buoyed by the equaliser, Kyrgyz Republic refused to concede an inch to their opponents, although Matar threatened to restore the UAE’s lead when he fizzed a shot from distance narrowly over as the first half drew to a close.

After the break, Mabkhout almost immediately headed Bandar Mohammed’s pinpoint cross inches wide of the post, before a curling Kichin delivery eluded its intended target and thudded against Eisa’s crossbar with the custodian beaten.

However, any momentum Kyrgyz Republic had been building was brought to a sudden halt on 64 minutes as the UAE went ahead once again, this time Mabkhout collecting Amer Abdulrahman’s pass and drilling the ball beyond Kutman Kadyrbekov in the Kyrgyz Republic goal.

 

To their eternal credit, Kyrgyz Republic refused to buckle, and after Vitalij Lux, who bagged a hat-trick last time out, had flashed a late effort agonisingly wide, Tursunali Rustamov headed home a last gasp equaliser following Anton Zemlianukhin’s cross to send the pulsating match into extra-time.

Mabkhout spurned an early chance in the second minute of the additional 30, before – just 60 seconds later – the striker was brought down in the area by Bekzhan Sagynbaev. Substitute Ahmed Khalil stepped up to convert the resulting penalty and put his side ahead yet again.

 

Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov’s header then brushed an upright and the seemingly omnipresent Rustamov crashed a shot against the bar in the final seconds.

However, it was not to be though for the Central Asians, as the UAE held firm to seal their ticket through to the last eight and signal Kyrgyz Republic’s departure from a competition in which they had often more than held their own.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

#AFCAsianCup2019 United Arab Emirates 1- 1 Bahrein

UAE-Bahrain1

Abu Dhabi:  A last gasp Ahmed Khalil penalty ensured host nation the United Arab Emirates a share of the spoils as they drew 1-1 with Bahrain in their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group A opener on Saturday.

With time running out, Khalil impressively held his nerve to convert from 12 yards for the 1996 AFC Asian Cup runners-up after Mohamed Al Rohaimi had given a resilient Bahrain the lead just 10 minutes earlier.

The draw, played out in front of a vocal crowd at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, sees the regional rivals tied at the top of the Group A standings ahead of Sunday’s match between fellow group hopefuls India and Thailand.

After a cautious opening, it was to be the UAE who threatened first, striker Ali Mabkhout expertly finding Ismail Al Hammadi who raced into the area and fired narrowly wide of Bahrain goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar’s far post with six minutes played.

With the Emiratis slowly but surely gaining an albeit tentative foothold in the game, Mabkhout scuffed an effort when well-placed and then blasted a shot over the bar from 15 yards after a fine Ali Salmin cross on 23 minutes.

Bahrain’s first genuine opportunity followed shortly after, but the impressive Al Rohaimi failed to find the target with a header from Komail Al Aswad’s curled delivery.

In the final moments of an intriguing first half, Al Aswad came within inches of handing Bahrain the lead only for his delightful free-kick from 25 yards to flash narrowly over the bar.

The opening moments of the second period duly followed the pattern of the first, as the UAE looked to impose themselves on their opponents who still carried a threat.

Indeed, UAE custodian Khalid Eisa had to be at his very best in the 52nd minute to palm away Ali Madan’s fierce drive and expertly block Al Rohaimi’s subsequent follow-up.

The seemingly omnipresent Mabkhout then flashed a shot inches wide of the target as the UAE continued to search for the breakthrough, before Al Rohaimi brought the best out of Eisa with a low drive that the goalkeeper did well to palm away to safety.

Bahrain’s resilience was though to pay handsome dividends on 78 minutes when they took the lead. Defender Sayed Redah Isa crossed to Al Rohaimi who saw his initial header cleared off the line before ramming home the rebound.

There was, however, more drama to come as Bahrain substitute Mohamed Mahroon, who had only just come on, handled in the area on 88 minutes and Ahmed Khalil rammed home the resulting penalty to ensure his side a point.

The UAE are next in action when they face India at the same venue on Thursday, with Bahrain set to face Thailand in Dubai on the same day.

 

Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation Website

Who are the UAE players the Caltex Socceroos must be wary of in their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi?

Who are the UAE players the Caltex Socceroos must be wary of in their FIFA World Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi?

The panenka-scoring striker, the bushy-haired baller that Xavi rates and the baseball cap-wearing mentor. Asian football expert @JohnnyDuerden spotlights five UAE names who could make life difficult for our Caltex Socceroos on Wednesday morning (KO 1.30am AEST).

The Caltex Socceroos take on the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening in the second game in the final round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Both teams recorded victories in the opener last Thursday with Australia defeating Iraq 2-0 while the UAE went to Japan and won 2-1.

It’s a huge game and there are five UAE stars for Australian fans, players and coaching staff to watch out for.

Ahmed Khalil

The striker is not only the current AFC Player of the Year and one of Asia’s most dangerous strikers, he is currently the talk of the continent’s football scene.

His reputation, already pretty high, went through the roof last week with two memorable goals to sink Japan.

Both showed the kind of technique that he has become famous for. The first was a fine free-kick that flew into the top corner but the second was a penalty and even more impressive, a delicate Panenka over the diving goalkeeper.

To come out with such a move at such a stage of the game and on such a stage was as breathtaking as it was majestic.

Khalil is on fire and at the moment, give him a chance and the 25 year-old will score.

Mahdi Ali

The coach – and his fashion accessory, a baseball cap – have been a feature of United Arab Emirates football for years.

This youthful-looking 51 year-old has been the boss of various national youth teams at Under 19, 20 and 23 levels and took the main job back in 2012.

Coming through the ranks with many of his players, he is close to his stars as any coach and has a habit of answering questions meant for them at press conferences.

He has guided the so-called ‘golden generation’ to the 2012 Olympics, to third place at the 2015 Asian Cup and perhaps, a first World Cup since 1990.

Ali has built a stable framework for the UAE national team, something that many predecessors failed to do or did not even attempt.

The end result is that everyone knows their roles and those of their team-mates. Not afraid to fight the clubs and federation to get what he wants, the best may be yet to come

Omar Abdulrahman

The playmaker needs little introduction to fans around Asia.

He wowed the 2015 Asian Cup with his skills, touches and vision. The 24 year-old may not defend as much as his coach would like but when you are as good going forward as the bushy-haired baller then you just have to shrug your shoulders and enjoy the show.

Linked closely to big European clubs such as Manchester City, Barcelona and Arsenal, he plays just behind the strikers though drifts wherever he wants, including on the frontline.

There is little he can’t do on the ball and when you have Spanish star Xavi singing your praises then you know you have made it.

It is not often he is overshadowed by a team-mate but he was last week by Ahmed Khalil.

Australia should watch out as ‘Amoory’ is raring to go.

Ali Mabkhout

The striker is on fire. There is a debate to be had in the United Arab Emirates as to who is the better forward: Ahmed Khalil or Ali Mabkhout.

The latter’s resume is impressive. Top scorer with five at the 2014 Gulf Cup, five at the 2015 Asian Cup and already five in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

The 25 year-old works incredibly hard and never stops running. Increasingly composed in front of goal, Mabkhout has really benefited from the faith that has been placed in him by the coach.

When Khalil does not score, this man often takes up the slack and vice-versa.

Amer Abdulrahman

The classy midfielder not make the headlines that his namesake collects but that’s not a problem for the 27-year-old.

He will relish facing Australia in his hometown of Abu Dhabi, though he recently joined Al Ain in what was perhaps the signing of the year in the UAE league.

Rarely puts a foot wrong and does so much right. Can pick a pass, can read the game and can be an island of composure when things are going a little crazy all around.

Is the kind of player that is loved and rated by fans who know how important he is to the team.

Football Federation Australia

UAE stun Japan in Saitama World Cup Qualifier

The UAE upset Japan 2-1 in Saitama overnight.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Dom Farrell
Ahmed Khalil was the hero for United Arab Emirates as they came from behind to stun hosts Japan with a 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory in Saitama.

Japan began their opening match in Group B – the final round-robin phase of AFC qualification for Russia 2018 – in confident fashion and led through Keisuke Honda’s early header.

But a superb free-kick from Khalil pulled UAE level and he coolly converted a 54th minute penalty after Ryota Ohshima fouled Ismail Alhammadi.

An onslaught then followed from Vahid Halilhodzic’s men and they were rightly aggrieved when the officials failed to spot substitute Takuma Asano’s shot had crossed the line before being parried away by Khalid Eisa.

As well as lamenting a run of decisions going against them, Japan could also dwell on a string of missed chances in a damaging start to a competitive section also featuring Australia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

Halilhodzic’s side pushed their visitors back from kick-off, dominating possession before a buoyant home crowd, and they led after 11 minutes when Honda was unmarked to power home Hiroshi Kiyotake’s right-wing free-kick at the back post. Shinji Okazaki then broke clear of the UAE defence but blazed wide on the end of Shinji Kagawa’s pass, before the visitors stunned Saitama Stadium with a 20th-minute leveller. Maya Yoshida was booked after Ali Mabkhout went to ground theatrically under his challenge but there was nothing dubious about Khalil’s resulting strike, a sumptuous effort that Shusaku Nishikawa could only palm against the underside of his crossbar on its way in.

UAE did not heed the warning over Honda’s aerial prowess and the AC Milan midfielder was again left unattended on the end of a floated cross from Gotoku Sakai.

Eisa shovelled the ball off his goalline and Kagawa should have done better than prodding the rebound wide.

Japan remained in control until the interval but were almost behind against the run of play when Mabkhout raced clear to be denied by Nishikawa.

Ohshima had a stinging drive turned over after half-time but it was his trip on Alhammadi at the end of an untidy passage of play that allowed captain Khalil to nonchalantly chip home from 12 yards.

Kiyotake failed to connect with a low cross as Japan sought an equaliser and Okazaki headed a Honda delivery against the bar before Asano being wrongfully denied added controversy to a frantic finale.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

 

 

Iraq 2 – 3 United Arab Emirates

Newcastle: Tournament leading scorer Ali Mabkhout netted a second half penalty as the United Arab Emirates claimed third place at the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 after edging out former champions Iraq 3-2 in a thrilling contest at Newcastle Stadium on Friday.

Captain Ahmed Khalil opened the scoring for the UAE after 16 minutes only for Waleed Salim and Amjed Kalaf to turn the contest in favour of 2007 champions Iraq before half-time.

But after Khalil levelled the entertaining contest at the start of the second half with his fourth of the campaign, Mabkhout coolly netted his fifth just before the hour mark after Iraq’s Ahmed Ibrahim had been sent-off to hand the 1996 finalists their second-best finish at the AFC Asian Cup.

With both coaches retaining the majority of their first team and only making minor changes to their starting line-ups following their semi-final defeats earlier in the week, it was the UAE’s exciting front three which helped Mahdi Ali’s side open the scoring as Mabkhout freed Omar Abdulrahman following a swift counterattack and Khalil was on hand to produce a first-time finish inside the penalty area from the perfectly weighted through ball.

Iraq, though, were almost back on level terms just four minutes later as Younus Mahmood’s follow-up was acrobatically tipped over the crossbar by substitute UAE goalkeeper Khalid Eisa after Majed Hassan’s attempted sliding clearance on the edge of the penalty area had bounced back off the woodwork following a deflection off the veteran striker.

But Eisa was given no chance after 28 minutes as Salim was found inside the area by Kalaf and the full-back’s strike crucially deflected off Khamis Esmaeel to beat the UAE goalkeeper high at his near post.

And Eisa was again beaten three minutes before half-time as the UAE custodian could only parry a low rasping drive from Ahmed Yasin from just outside the area and Kalaf was first to react to volley home from 10 yards.

Iraq maintained their pressure at the start of the second half and came close to extending their advantage less than a minute after the restart as Mahmood scuffed wide from inside the area with only Eisa to beat from Yaser Kasim’s pass.

The miss, though, proved costly for Iraq as just six minutes later Khalil beat the offside trap from Abdulrahman’s superb chipped ball forward, and after taking one touch to evade onrushing goalkeeper Mohammed Hamed, the striker rolled the ball into the empty net.

And three minutes before the hour mark the UAE completed the comeback as Ibrahim was sent-off after hauling down Mabkhout inside the area following a mistake by goalkeeper Hamed and the striker picked himself up to coolly beat the Iraq custodian from the resulting penalty to move one goal clear of Jordan’s Hamza Al Dardour and team-mate Khalil at the top of the goalscoring chart.

The UAE came close to extending their lead with 15 minutes remaining as substitute Walid Abbas headed against the foot of the back post from Abdulrahman’s deep corner.

And despite Iraq pressing forward in the closing stages, the UAE held on to claim third place at the AFC Asian Cup for the first time having lost to China on penalties at the same stage in 1992.

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation Website

United Arab Emirates 4 – 1 Qatar

Canberra: A brace each from forwards Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout gave the United Arab Emirates a comprehensive 4-1 win over Gulf Cup champions Qatar in their AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Group C opener at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

Two-time quarter-finalists Qatar took the lead courtesy of Khalfan Ibrahim’s 22nd minute chipped effort, but the scores were levelled on 36 minutes by former AFC Youth Player of the Year Khalil from close range.

And set-pieces in the second half were to prove Qatar’s undoing as first Khalil on 51 minutes and then Mabkhout on 56 minutes profited from dead-ball situations, before Mabkhout got his second in the dying minutes of the game to help the UAE into the all-important knockout stage qualification spots in the opening round of Group C games.

An even opening spell in Australia’s capital saw two teams intent on attack and inside the first 10 minutes there was goalmouth action at either end of the field as Khalil and Mabkhout both saw efforts ruffle the side-netting, while Qatari defender Abdelaziz Hatem had a dangerous cross turned way at the back post by Mohamed Abdulrahman.

With such an open game in the making, it was no surprise that the first goal came not long after as Majed Naser could only push out Mohammed Muntari’s close range effort as far as former AFC Player of the Year Ibrahim who controlled the ball on his chest before delicately sending a flying volley over both the stranded goalkeeper and Mohanad Al Enezi on the line.

Khalil went close to drawing the UAE back within three minutes, though, as his downward header demanded a sprawling save from Qasem Burhan in the Qatar goal, flicking the ball around his own post.

At the other end, Abdelkarim Hassan almost extended the lead with a driving shot from distance into the side-netting, but with nine minutes of the half remaining the Emirates had drawn level.

Burhan came and failed to collect, and Abdulaziz Sanqour whipped the ball across goal where Khalil’s header was blocked back to him by Ibrahim Majed on the line and rebounded in off the Emirati forward’s chest.

Qatar coach Djamel Belmadi brought on 2014 WAFF Championship top scorer Boualem Khouki after the break to add some cutting edge to his attack but just six minutes after the re-start it was the UAE who went ahead for the first time in the match.

The goal came from the boot of Khalil, who had threatened for much of the first period, taking full advantage from a dangerous set-piece on the corner of the penalty area to loop his free kick into the far corner of the goal.

And just five minutes later the UAE profited again from a dead-ball situation. This time Khamis Esmaeel’s on-target free kick was fumbled by Burhan and Mabkhout was first on the scene to follow up and drill the ball home.

Forwards Ismail Mohamad and Meshal Adulla entered the fray after the hour mark to try and reduce the deficit for Qatar, and the former went closest, forcing Naser into a flying block at his near post.

The Emirati custodian almost inadvertently gave Qatar a way back in with five minutes remaining as he turned Hassan’s near post shot onto his own upright but Mabkhout then put the game beyond doubt on the 90th minute as he combined with Omar Abdulrahman to rifle home from six yards.

Photo: WSG

Source : Asian Football Confederation

United Arab Emirates 10-0 Malaysia

Abu Dhabi: Ahmed Khalil scored four times and Ahmed Ali grabbed a hat-trick as the UAE crushed Malaysia 10-0 in their FIFA World Cup 2018 and AFC Asian Cup 2019 Group A qualifier on Monday.

The victory saw the UAE make it two wins out two following June’s success against Timor-Leste, while Malaysia have only a solitary point from their three games thanks to an earlier draw with the East Timorese and a hefty 6-0 loss to Palestine.

On a night that Malaysia will want to forget, the UAE went ahead in the 16th minute courtesy of Mohanad Salam’s effort, before a brace from Ahmed Ali in the 22nd and 33rd minutes sandwiched a strike from Habib Fardan and the first two of Khalil’s four goals.

Mohamad Ahmad add to his side’s tally with a goal eight minutes before half-time to give the UAE a distinctly healthy 7-0 lead at the break.

Khalil, who starred for the UAE at this year’s AFC Asian Cup in Australia notched his hat-trick with 70 minutes on the clock, while Ahmed Ali grabbed his third shortly after,

The scoring was completed in the 78th minute when the 24-year-old Khalil bagged a fourth to complete an emphatic win for Mahdi Ali’s charges who will now travel in high spirits to face Palestine on September 8. Malaysia will play host to Saudi Arabia on the same day.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.

 

Asian Football Confederation Website