Dubai: Al Jazira goal machine Ali Mabkhout bagged an easy hat-trick as the UAE ran out 6-0 winners over a poor India at the Zabeel Stadium to round up a promising training camp for the UAE squad.
It was a great result for the UAE as they prepared for their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The friendly was in place of the UAE’s qualifiers in Group G, which have been postponed until June.
The UAE will host the remainder of all the group matches in Dubai in June, looking to claw back a five-point gap on group leaders Vietnam. On this form, they will fancy their chances.
India head coach Igor Stimac gave game-time to many new faces in the friendly, making as many as eight changes to the Blue Tigers starting XI, bringing in Gurpreet Singh, Adil Khan, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Lalengmawia Ralte, Pritam Kotal, Liston Colaco and Mashoor Shereef and giving them the opportunity to stake a claim for a spot ahead of the upcoming matches in June.
Among those that retained their places in the XI from the 1-1 draw against Oman were Akash Mishra, Manvir Singh, and Suresh Wangjam — with the likes of Sandesh Jhingan, Rowllin Borges, Bipin Singh, etc not in action.
However, the UAE were always in charge as Ali Mabkhout latched onto a through ball from Fabio De Lima and chipped it over the keeper to open the scoring. The goals kept coming as Fabio de Lima’s shot was met by a whistle after a handball from Adil Khan, and Mabkhout made it two after 30 minutes.
Mabkhout completed his hat-trick on the hour mark, as he controlled the ball inside the box, and slotted it home as India crumbled. Four minutes later, Khalil Ibrahim’s first-time shot found the back of the Indian net ahead of further punishment from Fabio Lima and Sebastian Tagliabue to keep the hosts’ tails up for Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification.