The UAE will be hoping to build on the progress they have made when they face Ireland in today's game between the competition's top and bottom teams in the IIHF World Championship Division Three in Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg. Having lost their opening game 7-1 to Greece, the Emiratis remained pointless despite pushing Luxembourg hard in a 3-2 defeat on Thursday, with goals from their captain, Juma al Dhaheri, and Ali al Mazrouei. It is the UAE's first time in a IIHF World Championship and against European nations. The UAE earned qualification to the IIHF event after winning the 2009 Challenge Cup of Asia, held in Abu Dhabi. "From the onset we said we were not going to go by the results," said Mohammed Aref al Jachi, the team manager. "We lost the first game 7-1 and that wasn't a bad result, and just got beat by Luxembourg, and that was beyond all expectations. "We are playing Ireland, the top team in the competition, and another good performance is all what we expect. The experience we gained from this championship augurs well for the future and for our profile." Ireland are top of the group with victories over Luxembourg (6-4) and Greece (3-1) and are strong favourites to claim the No 1 spot. Greece and Luxembourg battle it out for the second position in the other game.
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