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Abu Dhabi: Ahmed Khalil scored four times and Ahmed Ali grabbed a hat-trick as the UAE crushed Malaysia 10-0 in their FIFA World Cup 2018 and AFC Asian Cup 2019 Group A qualifier on Monday.

The victory saw the UAE make it two wins out two following June’s success against Timor-Leste, while Malaysia have only a solitary point from their three games thanks to an earlier draw with the East Timorese and a hefty 6-0 loss to Palestine.

On a night that Malaysia will want to forget, the UAE went ahead in the 16th minute courtesy of Mohanad Salam’s effort, before a brace from Ahmed Ali in the 22nd and 33rd minutes sandwiched a strike from Habib Fardan and the first two of Khalil’s four goals.

Mohamad Ahmad add to his side’s tally with a goal eight minutes before half-time to give the UAE a distinctly healthy 7-0 lead at the break.

Khalil, who starred for the UAE at this year’s AFC Asian Cup in Australia notched his hat-trick with 70 minutes on the clock, while Ahmed Ali grabbed his third shortly after,

The scoring was completed in the 78th minute when the 24-year-old Khalil bagged a fourth to complete an emphatic win for Mahdi Ali’s charges who will now travel in high spirits to face Palestine on September 8. Malaysia will play host to Saudi Arabia on the same day.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.

Photo: AFP

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