UAE team face must-win match at London Olympics
Excitement is building for the Olympic UAE v Great Britain football match this evening.
The game comes after the UAE side lost 2-1 against Uruguay in their first Olympic group match and the Emirates team need to win this match to advance to the knockout round.
Emirati Mohammed Khalid in Abu Dhabi said: “We have a good team and I believe we shall play better in the game against Great Britain.
“Our boys are focused and have now gained confidence. I think we shall beat them 1-0.”
Hamdan Hussein, an Emirati businessman in the capital said: “Great Britain is of course a stronger side and have more experienced professional players compared to the UAE. I think our players need to be more focused and use all the chances they get to win this team or get a point from them,” he said adding that GB is playing at home and will of course have a lot of support from the crowds.
Kevin Grant, a British Real Estate agent based in Sharjah says that regardless of his pride for his country, he would be more than happy if UAE qualified to the next round, even if it meant beating his country’s team.
“Those young men have really worked hard to get there and this is the UAE football team’s first appearance at the Olympics. My wish is to see them progress and achieve something that would do them more proud,” said Grant.
“Tonight’s will be a clash between seniors and novices, the seniors being the British team. It will be a great moment of pride for the UAE if they can put up a spirited fight and win the match and I am giving them all my support.”
Emirati Badreya Ahmed Ali said that the team’s participation in the Olympics alone has made her more proud of her country, regardless of whether they win tonight’s match or not.
“The most important thing is that we are there and that alone is history. I know that we might not make much progress given the might of other teams in the group, but our participation alone is worth celebrating,” said Ali an events manager in Dubai.
Muhammad Hisham Al Hashimi who works at the UAE Football Association said that the determination exhibited by the UAE football team in all its previous matches will give them the drive needed to win tonight’s match.
“They know that we are all behind them and that whatever achievement they make will be recorded in history. I can say that our team’s determination is three times more than that of their opponents because they are trying to set a record and they don’t want to disappoint us,” said Al Hashimi.
The match kicks off tonight at 10.45 UAE time.