UAE beat East Timor to keep bid for Asian Games football gold alive
They next meet China, who are top of Group C, in crucial match on Sunday
The UAE football team got their Asian Games campaign back on track with a resounding 4-1 win over East Timor on Thursday.
The 2010 Asiad finalists found the net three times in the first half to take control of their Group C game at Jalak Harupat Soreang Stadium in Indonesia.
It was a much-needed win following their 1-0 defeat to Syria earlier this week.
Shaheen Al Darmaki found the net from a free kick on two minutes. Salem Al Sharji headed in a corner from Jassim Al Blooshi to double the lead eight minutes later.
Zayed Al Ameri was on target with the first of his two goals on 19 minutes. He smashed a short pass from Al Blooshi before adding his second just past the hour to virtually seal the game.
Rufino Gana scored a consolation goal off a counter attack three minutes from time.
“We needed this result to keep our hopes alive in the competition and that’s exactly what we did,” Al Ameri said. “Our plan was to score from the onset and we were lucky we were able to score three times early in the game.
"That lead set us up very nicely for the remainder of the game. Everything we planned with our coach worked out really well for us today. The early goals relieved the pressure and after running up a 3-0 lead we knew we had the game well under our control.”
On Sunday the UAE will take on China, who followed up their 6-0 thrashing of East Timor with a 3-0 victory over Syria to go top of Group C.
Meanwhile, Japan thrashed Pakistan 4-0 to register their second win in Group D. Thailand were held to a 1-1 result by Bangladesh in Group B. Uzbekistan downed Qatar 6-0 in Group B and Vietnam overcame Nepal 2-0 in Group D.
Updated: August 16, 2018 07:42 PM