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Asian Qualifiers - Group G: UAE impress against Indonesia to stay within reach of final round

Dubai: The United Arab Emirates cruised to an emphatic 5-0 win against Indonesia in Group G of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Friday.

The result leaves the UAE sitting in second place on 15 points, two behind leaders Vietnam before the duo face off in their final match on Tuesday, while Indonesia’s campaign ends with a single point.

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Indonesia had suffered a 4-0 loss last time out against Vietnam, while the UAE secured their second win in a row with a 3-1 scoreline against Thailand.

The group hosts opened the scoring 23 minutes into the match, when Khalfan Mubarak and Ali Mabkhout, teammates at club level, combined beautifully with Mubarak’s initial shot ricocheting off Indonesia’s keeper and Mabkhout hammering in the rebound to make the score 1-0.

Fabio Lima doubled the score five minutes later, when he headed in Mahmoud Khamis’ ball in from the flank from a tight angle, with two defenders failing to block the ball.

Indonesia almost clawed one back, when they won a penalty a few minutes from the break. Indonesia captain Evan Dimas took the shot, but Emirati keeper Ali Khaseif showed expert anticipation and was able to make the save.

Mabkhout added his personal second and his country’s third of the night from the spot three minutes after the break after Adam Alis fouled Mubarak in the area after he dribbled into the six yard box and attempted to shoot.

The fourth goal for the hosts came in the 58th minute, and was almost identical to the first with the same assist provider and scorer: Khamis sent the ball in from the left flank, and Fabio met it with a precision header that bounced off the ground and into the net.

Substitute Sebastian Tagliabue had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he hammered in the fifth goal of the game from short range while completely unmarked, leaving the UAE with the task of having to defeat Vietnam on Tuesday to win Group G.

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