Ahead of their clash with the Caltex Socceroos, UAE media have gone into overdrive over “Ali’s Heroes” after their national team’s stunning 2-1 win over Japan as expectations rise in the lead up to this huge game.
The teams meet on Tuesday night in Abu Dhabi (1.30am AEST) at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium with the home side buoyed by their heroics in Saitama.
With their second World Cup after Italia 1990 edging closer, the UAE were a front page splash after they defeated Japan in their opening final phase group qualification match.
"We believe in ourselves greatly. Our goal is to qualify for the World Cup, and to give happiness to the people of the UAE. From the first day of our camp in Spain the team resolved to fight and to not shrink from anything because we are soldiers fighting for our country,” Ahmed Khalil, the scorer of an audacious panenka to win it in Japan, told The National (click here for The National).
Even His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was moved to tweet about the country’s heroes.
And top UAE striker Ahmed Khalil has called on the fans to get behind them for the tough task against Australia.
Match information courtesy of The National
2018 World Cup qualifying, Asia third round, Matchday 2
Local KO time: 7.30pm (1.30am AEST)
Where: Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, Al Jazira’s home ground on Muroor Road across from the Dusit Thani hotel
Tickets: The UAE FA have yet to announce official ticketing info. However, recent club and national team matches at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium have typically been free to attend. Arrive early, it can get busy for a big match.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t