x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ismail Matar feels positive about return to national side

Striker keen to be given chance for South Korea match.

Ismail Matar, left, has recovered from a knee injury.
Ismail Matar, left, has recovered from a knee injury.

Ismail Matar is focusing on his match fitness after returning to the national team following a month off due to a knee injury.

Matar has been named in the 25-member squad chosen by new coach Abdullah Misfir who took over the reins of the national side from Srecko Katanec. The Slovenian departed following defeats against Kuwait and Lebanon in the UAE's opening two matches of the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

Matar, the Al Wahda striker, missed those two matches as he was recuperating in Germany from his injury, but he is expecting to make the starting line-up for the next match against South Korea in Seoul on October 11.

"I am feeling good and just need a few matches," Matar said. "I might not be 100 per cent for the South Korea match, but I will try to do my best given the chance. We need a good result and I am hoping we can get that."

The team will assemble in Al Ain on September 25 and train every evening at Khalifa Stadium before leaving for a training camp to China on October 1. The UAE will play a friendly match against China on October 6 before travelling to Seoul a day later.

The squad: Ismail Al Hammadi, Amer Mubarak, Ahmad Khalil (Al Ahli), Mohammed Fawzi, Youssuf Jaber, Theyab Awana (Baniyas), Jumaa Abdullah, Ahmed Jumaa, Abdullah Musa, Subait Khater, Khalid Sabeel (Al Jazira), Walid Abbas, Mohammed Ahmad (Al Shabab), Faris Jumaa, Msalam Fayez, Ali Al Wehaibi (Al Ain), Adel Al Hosani, Eissa Ahmad, Mahmoud Khamis, Khaled Jalal, Ismail Matar, Mohammed Al Shehhi, Basheer Saeed (Al Wahda), Ahmed Mahmoud and Majed Nasser (Al Wasl)