Ali Mabkhout and Khalfan Mubarak, the Al Jazira stars scored classy goals as UAE thumped India 2-0 in a dashing Asian Cup encounter at a packed Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
UAE moved top of the table in Group A with four points from two matches while second-placed India still remains in the race for a knockout berth with 3 points from two matches. India who drubbed Thailand 4-1 in the opening match Sunday must focus now on beating bottom-placed Bahrain on Monday if they are to ensure a place in the next phase.
India Started on positive note..
Although India made positive starts in both halves and created many chances, their lack of finishing touch paid dearly in the match against the hosts. India made more shots at goal and dominated proceedings by keeping the opposition defense busy. India could have been 1-0 up as early as the seventh minute if for Sandhesh Jingan’s free header off a corner by Anirudh Thapa went off the target. And again Captain Sunil Chhetri’s header was brilliantly saved by UAE custodian Khalid Eisa.
Cool Finish by Mabkhout During Last 2 minutes
UAE, meanwhile, took their advantage of their position which is 18 ranks ahead of the 97th ranked India and Mukarak charged forward and latched on to a ball by Ali Ahmed Mabkhout who ran in from the right. UAE put the final nail in the coffin when Mabkhout came up with a cool finish two minutes from the end to give a flattering scoreline to the hosts against the Blue Tigers.