Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
UAE national coach Mahdi Ali.
UAE national coach Mahdi Ali.

UAE can cope without Omar Abdulrahman against Uzbekistan, insists Mahdi Ali

The Gulf Cup winning coach warns their Asian Cup rivals the UAE 'are not a one-man team' ahead of their clash in Abu Dhabi tomorrow night.

ABU DHABI // The absence of Omar Abdulrahman, the injured playmaker, will not weaken the UAE, the coach Mahdi Ali said, when they meet Uzbekistan in the Asian Cup qualifier at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Friday.

The diminutive Al Ain midfielder was forced to pull out of the national team after suffering a knee injury in the club's 2-0 away defeat to Esteghlal of Iran in last week's Asian Champions League.

"We are not a one-man team," Mahdi Ali said at the pre-match conference at the FA headquarters yesterday.

"Omar is a pretty good player with excellent skills but he not being in the team won't make us weaker as we have players to compensate for his absence.

"The important thing is to play as a cohesive unit and win the three points from this game. We have played Uzbekistan before and they are strong opponents."

The UAE head Group E on three points following their 1-0 away victory over Vietnam while Uzbekistan, who were favourites against Hong Kong at home, were held to a scoreless result in the opening round of the qualifiers.

"It was indeed a disappointing result and we want to make up for that with a good performance and result against the UAE," said Mirdjalal Kasmov, the Uzbekistan coach.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National