Preview MD3 - Group D: Jordan vs UAE
Buriram: UAE head coach Maciej Skorza is focused on recovery ahead of his side’s decisive AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 Group D clash against Jordan on Thursday.
The Whites currently top the group with four points from a goalless draw against Vietnam and a 2-0 victory over DPR Korea, meaning a point against Jordan is all they need to advance to the quarter-finals.
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“We played a very difficult game against DPR Korea, so we have to think a lot about recovery,” said the Polish coach.
“You could clearly see that players like Ali Saleh and Abdullah Ramadan were exhausted towards the end, and we need them at their best. I have to thank them for the hard work they put on."
“Winning the previous game was an important step and I am optimistic about our chances of reaching the next round, because we have a talented group of players who I know are capable of taking us far in this tournament."
With both UAE and Jordan having drawn Vietnam 0-0 in their respective matches, a score draw would send both teams into the quarter-finals, irrespective of what result Vietnam achieve against DPR Korea, but Skorza is refusing to settle for a point.
“The players need to be fully focused in the last match, it is vital that we get the win and progress as group leaders. Our objective is to prove ourselves among Asia’s elite U23 national teams.”
The sentiment is shared by Jordan’s Ahmed Abu Ismail, who cautioned on the unpredictability of match situations.
“In tournaments like these, you cannot play for a draw. It is too risky, and matches can change in an instant; that is the nature of football. We have to go in with the mentality that we must win, then if we come out with a draw, that would be fine."
Having struggled to take their chances in their opening two games, Jordan will have to continue coping without the services of star forward Musa Al Taamari, who was initially planned to join up with the side ahead of the UAE game, but has not been released by his club side APOEL.
Mohammed Bani Atieh, meanwhile, faces a late fitness test to determine his availability to face the UAE.
The forward had scored the opener against DPR Korea and his cross from the right ultimately resulted in Omar Hani’s goal after the initial header from Ali Olwan came off the upright. Bani Atieh then sat out the Vietnam match with an injury.
Jordan v UAE
Venue: Buiram Stadium (Bangkok)
Kick-off: 20:15 (UTC +7)
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