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Van Marwijk: UAE will bounce back from setbacks


Dubai: Head coach Bert van Marwijk has no doubt that United Arab Emirates will get their Asian Qualifiers campaign for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 back on track.

UAE suffered a 1-0 defeat to Vietnam in Hanoi on Thursday, on the back of a 2-1 loss to Thailand in October to leave the AFC Asian Cup 2019 semi-finalists third in Group G.

Vietnam lead the standings on 10 points, with Thailand second on seven and the UAE third on six and only ahead of Malaysia on goal difference after four matches.

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“There are still many matches (four) to play and we are determined to play them offensively to earn as much points as possible,” Van Marwijk said.

“There are still points to earn in the coming rounds. We will fight to keep our chances of qualifying.”

The UAE started well against Vietnam but the tide turned against them when Khalifa Al Hammadi was sent off eight minutes before half-time, with Vietnam scoring shortly after through Nguyen Tien Linh.

“The result of the match wasn’t good for us, but in football we have to always accept the result and work for the future,” Van Marwijk said. “The red card changed the direction of the match."

“We performed well and created several chances to score, but we didn’t have the final touch. We forced the opponent to take a step back on the pitch and they relied on the counter-attack.

“We know the result is disappointing, but we have to always look on the positive side, which is the excellent performance of the players. We played almost 60 minutes with 10 men against a stubborn opponent, but I praise my players.”

UAE will not be in action on Tuesday, with their next Asian Qualifiers tie against Malaysia at home on March 26.

In fact, three of their four remaining matches will be on home soil, adding to van Marwijk's belief that UAE will advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying and seal a place in the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals.

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