United Arab Emirates national team, has a chance to come close to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, after slashing defeat Korea Republic with a score 1-0 in the 2022 World Cup Asian Qualifiers 3rd round Group A at Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai.
Even that appeared as though it might not be necessary when news filtered through that Syria had taken the lead against Iraq in the match being held simultaneously across town, but there was little early action between the UAE and a Korean side which had sealed their place at Qatar 2022 weeks ago.
With both sides avoiding the concession of a spot kick after the Omani official had decided against overturning his initial call after the intervention of the VAR – while Hwang Hee-chan provided the most memorable on-field moment of the opening period when he lashed a spectacular volley against the crossbar from 25 yards just before the interval.
Scoreless at half-time, UAE’s side remained in third place despite an Iraqi equaliser in the other match, but the wider equation was rendered irrelevant when the impressive Emirati youngster Abdulla broke through with a thrilling goal in the 54th minute.
Receiving the ball around 40 yards from goal after a clever headed pass from Mohammed Abbas, the 19-year-old outpaced the Korean defence before beating goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo with a precise finish into the bottom corner of the net from just inside the penalty area for his first senior goal at international level.
While the energetic Abdalla continued to ask questions of their defenders, Korea Republic dominated possession and nearly hit back with immediate effect when Hwang Ui-jo’s header was palmed onto the crossbar by Khalid Eisa.
Korea Republic’s side finished the night having taken every one 16 of the corner kicks in the match, but none of them produced the goal they required to extend their 15-game unbeaten run on the Road to Qatar, while another Eisa save denied Son Heung-min’s last gasp free kick as the UAE survived to fight another day in their FIFA World Cup odyssey.
Credit Photo : UAEFA