Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Asian Cup 2019: UAE v Qatar as it happened - Alberto Zaccheroni's side beaten 4-0 in semi-final

News and updates as the UAE seek to reach the final of the competition for the first time since 1996 with semi-final clash at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium

20.15 Taking stock

Reality is setting in with some UAE players in tears as the reality they are not going to the Asian Cup final sinks in.

It has been a fine run from Alberto Zaccheroni's side that fell short in the end.

When they trailed to Bahrain 1-0 in the opening game before Ahmed Khalil's penalty earned them a draw.

For the second successive Asian Cup they have knocked out the defending champions, but for the second time in a row they have lost in the last four.

John McAuley's snap report on the game is here.

That concludes tonight's live updates. Keep checking the sport's homepage of The National for further updates.

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19.50 UAE's dream is over

He has been superb for much of the tournament but Ismail Ahmed has had a disappointing end to the tournament as he has been sent off for throwing an elbow off the ball, which was confirmed by VAR.

A fourth goal has come for Qatar in stoppage time as substitute Hamid Ismaeil slots in No 4.

That is the last action and UAE's Asian Cup adventure is over as the game ends 4-0 to Qatar.

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19.40 All over for UAE

The problem with pushing forward so much is it leaves gaps at the back.

Zaccheroni's men had to go for it and they have been caught out and Qatar have sealed a spot in Friday's final against Japan in Abu Dhabi as they are 3-0 ahead.

Hasan Al Haydos runs through and chips Essa to find the net.

Three down with less then 10 minutes to go, the dream is over for the UAE.

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19.35 UAE pushing hard

They cannot be accused of not giving it their all. UAE are pushing hard and Ismail Matar has an effort blocked and Ahmed Khalil sees his header tipped away by Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb.

Ten minutes to go and UAE are still 2-0 down.

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19.20 Time running out for UAE

We are 15 minutes into second half and UAE have had plenty of possession but they are struggling to put pressure on the Qatar goal.

Ahmed Khalil is on as well now in attack and Zaccheroni's men are going for it, but they are falling short with the final pass.

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19.05 Second half begins

UAE have 45 minutes to get back into the game as the second half begins.

Ismail Matar, UAE's captain, is now on the pitch, coming on as a substitute for Amer Abdulrahman.

Can he galvanise a fightback?

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18.50 UAE two goals down at half time

Arguably the biggest team talk of Alberto Zaccheroni's tenure as UAE manager is now about to start.

They trail 2-0 to Qatar in the Asian Cup semi-final and have 45 minutes to save their hopes of winning the tournament for the first time.

The UAE have struggled to put pressure on the Qatar goal and Zaccheroni may have to make some changes in personnel very quickly.

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18.40 UAE go two down

The UAE'S hopes of reaching the Asian Cup final is in deep trouble. They trail 2-0 after 36 minutes.

Almoez Ali has scored his eighth goal of the tournament with a curling shot from the edge of the area to put Qatar in charge.

UAE need a response and quickly.

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18.25 UAE are behind

Awful moment for Khalid Essa. He allows a shot from the right-side of the area from Boualem Khoukhi to squirm through his hands and into the net.

The UAE had been pushing forward and had been caught on the counter-attack.

Alberto Zaccheroni applauds his side from the touchline, trying to instill some confidence back in the side.

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18.15 Tense opening

Little to report from the opening stages. UAE have seen plenty of the ball but have yet to find a threat in the final third.

Khalid Essa is the first goalkeeper called to action as he gets down well to save a shot from outside the area from Salem Al Hajri.

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18.00 The action has begun

We are a go. The UAE get the match started and the large crowd at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium roar.

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17.50 Can Mabkhout do it again for UAE?

Ali Mabkhout won the golden boot four years ago with five goals and he has been the man who has spearheaded the charge to the last four.

He has netted four times so far in this tournament, netting the goal on Friday that sank Australia in the quarter-finals.

Can he do it again? John McAuley looked at the Al Jazira forward, and his role in the team, here.

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17.30 Fans rally behind the UAE

17.25 History beckons for UAE heroes

The National's John McAuley has closely followed the UAE team throughout the Asian Cup as the tournament hosts aim to make history in front of their own fans.

Ahead of the semi-final against Qatar, John explains why a repeat of their heroics against Australia in the quarter-finals can lead the UAE into the final. Read the preview here.

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17.00 Three changes for the UAE

John McAuley is at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium already and he has the team news.

"Alberto Zaccheroni has made three changes from the side that saw off Australia in the quarter-finals. Amer Abulrahman and Khamis Esmail return to central midfield, while winger Saif Rashed starts for the first time this tournament. Majed Hassan, Ismail Matar and Mohammed Ahmed drop out.

Qatar have two changes from their victory against South Korea, with Abdelkarim Hassan and Assim Madibo returning from suspension."

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16.50 Opportunity knocks for the UAE

Good afternoon. Alberto Zaccheroni's UAE stand just 90 minutes away from reaching the Asian Cup final.

Victory over Qatar at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will put them through to Friday's tournament decider and a showdown with Japan.

Only once before, in 1996 when the UAE last hosted the competition, have they reached the final so the chance of making history will be motivation for the 11 Emiratis on the field.

A tense evening awaits against a Qatari side who have won all five of their games on their run through to the last four.

But Zaccheroni's side have improved as the tournament has gone on and knocked out defending champions Australia 1-0, thanks to Ali Mabhkout's strike, in Al Ain on Friday.

The large crowd, expected to be in excess of 40,000 is already beginning to head into the stadium

Updated: January 29, 2019 08:34 PM

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