x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE warned not to be over-confident ahead of India test

UAE will be on their guard for second leg.

DUBAI // India's gritty performance on Saturday night in Al Ain, when they played for more than an hour with nine men, has put the UAE on their guard as they left yesterday for the reverse leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifier in Delhi.

India lost the defender Debabrata Roy and the goalkeeper Subrata Pal to red cards and conceded two penalties inside the first 23 minutes on Saturday, but the UAE failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage and could score only one more goal, nine minutes from time.

The UAE created a number of opportunities, but failed to break through a heavily fortified India defence, and Ismail Rashid, the UAE team director, is hoping his team would have learnt some lessons from that game.

"Our performance on Saturday was far from satisfactory," he said. "We should have won by a bigger margin than 3-0 as we created a number of opportunities.

"I believe we showed a lack of focus in front of the goal and I hope we will improve on that performance in Delhi. We need to be very focused and responsible, and make sure we are not reckless like the first game."

While India face a tall order to salvage the tie, Rashid, however, has warned his team against letting down their guard in Delhi.

"We need to show respect to the India team till the last seconds of the match, especially since they will be playing at home in front of their fans," he said.

"We know they will come out aggressively and try to overcome the result of the first leg.

"We have to show that we did not win simply because of those two expulsions. So we will not be playing for a draw.

"Having said that, we have warned the players against over-confidence and I believe they understand this a lot better after the first leg.

"They realise that performance on the field is the only thing that matters, not rankings and reputations."


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