Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed cheers UAE to victory in the home end
UAE book their place in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup with a 3-2 win over Kyrgyzstan
The UAE national team's spirits were lifted on Monday by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed cheering on the side in the home end.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces was seen watching the UAE's narrow 3-2 win against Kyrgyzstan at Zayed Sports City Stadium alongside his daughter and other dignitaries.
They were joined in the stadium by a large contingent of Kyrgyz fans who were just as loud as the home team's support.
Sheikh Mohamed’s presence inspired Emirati fans who could not make it to the Kyrgyzstan game to turn out in full force for the UAE’s next match, which will be against Australia.
Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs, called on UAE fans to get behind the team.
"The national pride accompanying the UAE’s win over Kyrgyzstan is more important than the match itself and the team’s performance in the tournament," he tweeted.
"Supporting the national team by all citizens, led by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, shows how well the country is doing."
The UAE will meet Australia – the defending Asian Cup champions – in the quarter-finals on Friday at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
Updated: January 22, 2019 12:55 PM