x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE exhorted to play good football in numbers game at Asian Cup

With their quarterfinal hopes hanging by a thread, Srecko Katanec has urged his UAE team to keep faith and play positive against Iran.

UAE's coach Srecko Katanec gestures the game against Iraq.
UAE's coach Srecko Katanec gestures the game against Iraq.

DOHA // With their quarterfinal hopes hanging by a thread, Srecko Katanec has urged his UAE team to keep faith and go out with a positive intent against Iran tomorrow.

The UAE have one point from their first two games following a goalless draw against North Korea and a 0-1 defeat to Iraq. To grab one of the two quarterfinal berths from the group, the UAE will have to defeat Iran and hope that North Korea beat Iraq by a smaller margin.

"We know what we need to do - we have to win and hope North Korea beat Iraq," Katanec said. "There is no pressure. We are in the strongest group of this tournament, so we were not favourites before and we are not favourites even now.

"What I want, like I said before the tournament, is to play nice football and show the people that UAE have a good team that can play good football. We have shown this and for the next game, I hope we play even better and win the match.

"I hope my players will show a lot of energy and play a good game. Hopefully we will win and hopefully North Korea will also win, but with less goal/s.

"It's complicated, but we must believe in ourselves. And we believe because we have nothing to lose."

arizvi@thenational.ae