UAE coach Edgardo Bauza lauds strikers Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout for historic win over Saudi Arabia

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UAE head coach Edgardo Bauza praised his strikers and is fostering a winning mentality within the team.

UAE defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Al Ain on Tuesday in their penultimate 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and coach Edgardo Bauza has heaped praise on stiking duo Ahmed Khalil and Ali Mabkhout.

With Bert van Marwijk’s visitors controlling 64.9% of the possession, it was a victory which came against the balance of play and will be remembered for two stunning strikes from the Emirati forwards.

"We had two very dangerous attackers and they showed that by scoring two high quality goals. The little time we worked together we did a good job. With the passage of time and working together we can improve even further," Bauza said at a press conference in Al Ain.

The Argentine claims he's trying to forge a winning mentality within the squad after leading the side to their first win against Saudi in 10 years.

"I plan each game to win and am really happy. They said it's been 10 years since the team hadn't beaten Saudi Arabia so I'm pleased. This is what I work for - to win." 

UAE face Iraq in their final World Cup qualifying game with little chance of making the third-place play-off spot in the group but Bauza insists they will go all out to secure victory.

"We are going to work to win the next game too against Iraq. Football is about planning to win. After that game, we have to sit down and plan for what comes next - the Asian Cup, what happens with the Gulf Cup we don't know exactly what will happen. But the team needs to keep working, this match will give us a lift, nothing more," he said.

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Meanwhile, the coach also gave an update on the injury of Omar Abdulrahman after the Emirati star did not feature in the encounter.

"He was injured and had no chance of playing. We are in the hands of the doctor. We are waiting for him to come back (from Spain) to see how he is getting on. We have other problems with three players suspended."

 

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