x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Iraq's lack of preparation worries Vieira

The Iraq manager Jorvan Vieira was unhappy that he had been unable to give his squad a decent time to prepare before Saturday's 2-2 match against the UAE.

The UAE's Abdullah Mal Allah tangles with Iraq's Mohammed Nasir during the second half.
The UAE's Abdullah Mal Allah tangles with Iraq's Mohammed Nasir during the second half.

AL AIN // The Iraq manager Jorvan Vieira was unhappy that he had been unable to give his squad a decent time to prepare before Saturday's 2-2 match against the UAE. "We have a good team but the problem is to get them together," said the Brazilian after the 2-2 draw at Al Ain's Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium "This has been our problem for a long time and continues to persist.

"My players are based in different countries and I don't have much time to prepare them for a competition." Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's poor run of form ahead of the Gulf Cup continued when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Syria in a friendly at Prince Mohammed bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam. The Saudis, strong contenders to lift the trophy, were beaten 1-0 by Bahrain last week and failed to see off Syria yesterday.

Saudi Arabia took the lead on 22 minutes when Osama Hawsawi headed home a corner but Syria levelled five minutes into the second-half through Raja Rafe. The Saudis, who play in the UAE's Group B at the Gulf Cup. alongside Yemen and Qatar, kick off their campaign in Oman against Qatar on Jan 5. Bahrain have suffered a blow after midfielder Rashid Al Dossary was ruled out of the tournament through injury.

The Muharraq midfielder, 33, a key player for his side, tore back muscles in training last week. * With agencies