x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

AFC president hails UAE's performance

Mohamed bin Hammam, the Asian football president, saluted UAE's performance in their opening game of the Asian Cup against North Korea and deemed it worthy of three points.

For more go to Asian Cup 2011

 

Mohamed bin Hammam, the Asian football president, saluted UAE's performance in their opening game of the Asian Cup against North Korea and deemed it worthy of three points.

Dubbed the weakest team in their group, which also includes Iraq, the defending champions, and Iran, the three-time winners, the UAE dominated the game.

"It was a really strong performance from the UAE," bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, said. "They really deserved to win the match and get three points.

"They were exceptional and their performance just proves that no team in this competition can be taken lightly."

Mohammed Khalfan al Rumaithi, the president of the Football Association, was delighted.

"I am really proud of the performance that our team showed," al Rumaithi said. "They played at an excellent level right through the game and deserved to win. They should have scored more than one goal in this game, but I believe they were a bit unlucky.

"Luck, though, was on our side when North Korea missed a penalty. So overall, it was an excellent performance by the team and I hope they will continue like this in the other two group games.

"The players showed a lot of character and fight, and controlled the game right through. I am very proud and pleased with this performance, and it just confirms our belief that we are moving in the right direction."

The UAE will play Iraq next on Saturday, before lining-up against Iran on January 19. Al Rumaithi believes those two matches will be a lot easier for the UAE.

"I respect both Iraq and Iran, but at the same time I believe we have already played our toughest opponent," al Rumaithi said. "The next two matches will not be as difficult as the game against North Korea."

Man of the match Ismail Matar said: "I am really happy with the way we have performed as a team. But this is just the start and we need to keep performing at the same level."