Saleh: UAE need to be more clinical
Buriram: Ali Saleh admits United Arab Emirates must sharpen up their finishing after securing three points against DPR Korea in Group D of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Monday.
After a goalless draw against Vietnam on Matchday One, UAE took just 17 minutes to find the back of the net through Khalifa Al Hammadi before Zayed Al Ameri doubled their lead to seal the victory.
The result at Buriram Stadium left UAE with four points in Group D, on level terms with Jordan, who settled for a 0-0 draw against Vietnam.
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Saleh, who impressed at the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 with three goals, believes the Emiratis must convert their chances if they are to have any hope of advancing to the quarter-finals.
“I think we have improved a lot and the team played a very good game today,” said the Al Wasl midfielder.
“We were able to score two goals in the first half against DPR Korea and hopefully, we can keep the momentum going.
“Maybe we could have scored more, especially in the second half as we did create chances but we wasted the opportunity to increase our advantage. Hopefully we will make it up in the next match.
“The most important thing in this tournament is to play well in defence. We haven’t let in any goals yet and we hope to keep it that way.”
The UAE and Jordan face off on Thursday and a win for either side will see them through to the next round.
Saleh believes UAE have what it takes to reach the knockout stage and is raring to go against Jordan.
“I think the players are growing in confidence. We are going into every match with this mindset.
“You could see it today on the field against DPR Korea, we were playing with confidence at the back and were able to score two early goals that helped us with the win.”
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