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UAE 7 // Lebanon 2
Khalil scored three goals as the UAE overpowered Lebanon 7-2 in a friendly at Khalifa Stadium last night.
The most interesting and bizarre goal of the night was Theyab Awana's penalty in the 78th minute. The Baniyas midfielder approached the ball while running backwards and struck it with the back of his right heel to score. He was shown a yellow card, although for what, no one is quite sure. Cheekiness perhaps?
The UAE opens a home-and-away tie with India on Saturday, with the return match in Delhi on July 28. The winner on aggregate advances to Asian Football Confederation group play.
Khalil, swift and athletic, has been a dependable scorer with the nation's age-group teams, but he often has struggled to find the range with the senior national team, but he may have made a breakthrough after last night.
His first goal came in the eighth minute after a ball over the top from the centre-back Hamdan Al Kamali. Khalil chased it down near the touch line and sent a hard shot to the near post which cannoned off Hassan Moghnieh, the Lebanon goalkeeper, and into the goal.
In the 18th minute, Amir Mubarak looped a ball into the box, and Khalil controlled it with his outstretched right foot, allowed a defender to run past, and poked it into the goal.
His third goal was the most clinical, a powerful strike from 20 yards.