x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fifa Under 17 World Cup: Rashid Amir hopes for tougher assignments

The Emirati coach was far from pleased despite his UAE Under 17 team's emphatic 4-0 win over Singapore in a friendly in Malaysia.

The UAE Under 17s easily dispatched Singapore during Saturday's match. Courtesy UAE Football Association
The UAE Under 17s easily dispatched Singapore during Saturday's match. Courtesy UAE Football Association

Rashid Amir was far from pleased despite his UAE Under 17 team's emphatic 4-0 win over Singapore in a friendly.

Playing at the 80,000-capacity Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia on Saturday, Amir's side, preparing for the Fifa U17 World Cup to be held in the UAE this Autumn, made short work of their rivals, with Zayed Al Amiri scoring twice and Mohammed Akbari and Faisal Al Khouri one apiece.

"It is a good result for us and the performance of the players was good, as well," the coach said. "But the match as whole did not reach to the required levels. Hopefully, we will be tested more in the upcoming matches.

"The team played at a good level throughout the game and had most of possession. We were at their goal from the opening minute until the final whistle, but despite the success in scoring four goals, I think we missed a great number of opportunities and we need to address this issue in the next phase."

The UAE are camping in Malaysia until August 31 and play four more matches there - against the Malaysian youth team, on August 20 and 29, Thailand on August 22 and Indonesia on August 25. Efforts are underway to arrange another game on August 26.

"Our players did not find it difficult against Singapore, but I hope we will face a tougher challenge in the coming matches and the players will be required to put in a greater effort," Amir said. "This result will serve to motivate the players in the upcoming games.

"We want to give an opportunity to the maximum number of players in these matches to allow them to reach their best levels. The weather is relatively warm and we are playing a number of matches in a short span of time, so that should allow us to test all the players."

Al Amiri, the hero of UAE's win over Singapore, was pleased with his performance.

"The trust shown by the coach and the coaching staff has helped tremendously," he said.

"Calls from my father and my family and their encouragement has helped raise my performance.

"I hope I can keep improving and help the team achieve the best results at the World Cup.

"We will have to be bold and show a lot of courage to get positive results at the World Cup."

The Fifa U17 World Cup will be played in five emirates from October 17. The final is November 8 in the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium - the home of Al Jazira - in Abu Dhabi.

 

arizvi@thenational.ae

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