UAE beat India in Pulsating AFC Asian Cup Match - Highlights

Annette Crawford
January 11, 2019

UAE manager Alberto Zaccheroni says he is focused exclusively on his side's "make-or-break" Asian Cup match against India on Thursday, and not speculation surrounding his future.

Veteran Indian striker Sunil Chhetri was the dangerman against Thailand grabbing a brace in the 4-1 win. However, the Indians have the biggest advantage they need: three points to their name.

India vs United Arab Emirates, AFC Asian Cup 2019 match will be broadcasted on Star Sports.

Coach Stephen Constantine will be pleased with how the second half against Thailand turned out.

That stupendous show earned India three valuable points, a place on top of the group and a goal average of plus three. We have a lot of respect for them.

"We have two very tough games", Constantine said.

Thailand goalkeeper Sivarak Tedsungnoen saved brilliantly from Ali Jaafar Madan inside the six-yard box to preserve his side's lead soon afterwards.

As far as the Indian team is concerned, Sunil Chhetri hogs the limelight wherever he goes, and the Blue Tigers will again look up to him upfront. He also became the second highest active goal-scorer in global football taking his tally to 67, which is two more than Lionel Messi.

Over reliance on the 34-year-old striker would not have seen them maul Thailand the way the did.

It is better still for the team that for all his achievements over the years, Chhetri remains grounded.

However, the surprise package was rookie forward Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh being the livewire down wide right.

Chhetri and the FC Pune City winger had their eyes on goal whenever they were on the ball and the direct running of the latter and the technique and finishing prowess of the former left the opposition's defence helpless.

India will be more cautious in their approach against UAE compared to their previous games against Thailand.

They wouldn't be satisfied with their performances, especially in the attacking third.

Ismail Al Hammadi - He has been a key member of the UAE side for over 10 years and has scored against India in 2011.

UAE will look to dominate the midfield where Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder will come up against a tightly-knit unit.

For the first time ever, twenty-four nations will compete in the pan-Asian competition instead of the usual sixteen. "He is a phenomenal goal scorer at this level".

Fares Juma, defender of the UAE said "All the focus is now on the game against the Indian team on Thursday, stressing that everyone is fully aware of the importance of the confrontation and difficulty, and the need to win to enhance the fortunes of the whites to continue the championship".

A win for India will secure them a spot in the next round, which would be a historic moment for the side which doesn't have a great record in the Asian Cup, while a win for the hosts will also bring them closer to qualification. The hosts are already under pressure from media and fans after an underwhelming start to their campaign and anything short of a win will put their hopes of qualifying to next round in trouble. However, we are not trying to get carried away with the emotion. It was in the group stages of the 1984 tournament. "We will try to get the result that we need", he concluded.

Only time will tell what's in store.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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