UAE World Cup 2018 Qualifier: Omar Abdulrahman - 'Victory over Japan is key'

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The AFC Player of the Year insists that beating Japan is crucial to UAE's World Cup ambitions.

Omar Abdulrahman has stressed the importance of a win against Japan in Thursday’s crucial Group B 2018 World Cup qualifier in Al Ain.

UAE are fourth in their group but only a point behind the second-placed Japanese and will draw encouragement from their victory over the Asian giants last September, when Ahmed Khalil scored a brace to secure a memorable 2-1 win for the visiting side.

Abdulrahman and his team-mates are fully aware of what's riding on the encounter.

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"Yes, all the matches are difficult no doubt, but this one is the key to move forward. Our previous win will give us confidence in our ability to defeat Japan again. Three points will enable us to move beyond them and approach the top of the group," he told

'Amoory' added that the team is counting on their fans to provide a good atmosphere and on themselves to show fight.

"We are counting on several assets to win the encounter. Playing at home and among our fans that support us always with all their might, motivates us to do well for them. We have the spirit of challengers and the ability to fight over the 90 minutes."

He also pointed to the experience of the current crop of players as a valuable attribute.

"This generation of players has a lot of experience. We have fought a lot in the same competitive matches and this strengthens our confidence in dealing with all the circumstances and enough gives us incentive to reach the World Cup finals in order to fulfil our potential," he concluded.

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