Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 4 August 2020

UAE players train under watchful eye of new manager Jorge Luis Pinto - in pictures

Colombian oversees training at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium

The UAE national team have been put through their paces by new manager Jorge Luis Pinto.

The squad are currently based in Al Ain as they get to know the Colombian, who arrived in the Emirates earlier this week having accepted the job last month. The former Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras manager succeeded Ivan Jovanovic.

Pinto, 67, has overseen training since Wednesday night, with the team spending Thursday on the pitch at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. The squad were greeted at the ground by a huge banner reading in Arabic: “With you guys there is no impossible. We will achieve our ambitions.”

Pinto’s primary objective is to lead the UAE to the World Cup in Qatar in two years’ time. At present, the national team sit fourth in Group G in the second phase of qualification, five points off leaders Vietnam with four matches remaining, although they do have a game in hand.

The UAE resume their campaign on October 8 with the home match against Malaysia, before facing Indonesia away five days later. They complete Round 2 with home matches against Thailand and Vietnam, on November 12 and 17.

Only the top team are guaranteed to progress, alongside the four best runners-up from the eight groups. The UAE have only once qualified for a World Cup, in 1990.

Updated: July 24, 2020 04:30 PM

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