x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

We have let our country down, says al Shehi

After a string of disappointing results in the 2010 World Cup qualifying, members of the injury-scarred UAE team are hoping to make one last stand in Tehran tonight.

TEHRAN // After a string of disappointing results in the 2010 World Cup qualifying, members of the injury-scarred UAE team are hoping to make one last stand in Tehran tonight. The UAE have lost six of their seven games and have just one point. That sorry state of affairs rankles the players and they are hoping to go a little way towards making amends tonight against Iran. "We don't want to finish with just one point from eight matches," said Mohammed al Shehi.

"We know it will be difficult. The Iranians will be playing at home and they will have thousands of fans supporting them. I know we have had disappointing results. We have let our fans and country down, but we try to make amends. We want to finish at least with one win." Playing at the Azadi Stadium is a formidable proposition for the best of teams, with close to 90,000 fans cheering for the home side. The UAE, however, managed to return home with a point the last time they were here. Their only point in this round also came against Iran at home.

"We have had our chances to win those games. Hopefully, we can do it this time," al Shehi added. To do that, the UAE defenders will have to play a much better than in their 2-0 home defeat to South Korea on Saturday. Defender Mohammed Qassim said: "The two goals South Korea scored were gifts from us. If we commit such errors against a strong side, there is no way we can win matches. "Good sides will make even the slightest mistakes count."

arizvi@thenational.ae