x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE women's team on the brink

A win tonight would complete a fairy tale run for the UAE women's team, who face the Jordan, the defending champions, in the final of the West Asia Championship at the Military Stadium.

ABU DHABI // A win tonight would complete a fairy tale run for the UAE women's team, who face the Jordan, the defending champions, in the final of the West Asia Championship at the Military Stadium in the capital, kick-off 6.45pm. Connie Selby's unfancied side reached the final after thrashing of Bahrain, 4-0, on Friday. Jalila al Nuaimi drew first blood, Fatima bint Mubarak al Maleh was on target twice and Sarah Hasanain completed the rout from a spot kick.

Jordan trounced Palestine 10-0 in the other semi final and they are chasing a hat-trick of wins in the biennial championship, having hosted and won both the competitions since its inception in 2005. The UAE have enjoyed a dream run on their maiden appearance and Selby feels reaching the final itself is an achievement in itself. "We came into this competition without having a women's league and without much experience at this level," she said. "For me, to reach the final is already an achievement, but we are not finished yet.

"We have taken one game at a time in this competition and now we are in the final. "We will play to win however good our opponents may be. Jordan have won the previous two championships and are definitely the strongest team. They have a lot of experience behind them and start as the favourites. But we are ready for them. My players are aware how much it would mean to win the final. We have done extremely well so far and need just one more effort on the night. And I am sure they have in them."

The UAE began their campaign with a 4-2 triumph over Palestine and a 7-0 drubbing of Kuwait in the group stage. Jordan overcame Bahrain 4-1 and Iran 1-0. apassela@thenational.ae