2018 AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers: UAE make promising start with 5-0 win over Nepal

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A flurry of goals in the first half led to a comfortable win for the UAE side.

UAE kick-started their 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifying campaign with a 5-0 win over Nepal on Saturday night in Group D.

Al Jazira forward Ahmed Al Attas struck twice while a goal each from Al Wahda trio Mohamed Al Akbari, Khalid Bawazir and Mohammed Al Hammadi sunk Nepal.

The opening goal came in the seventh minute. Suhail Al Noubi was brought down by centre-back Gaurav Budhathoki inside the area and Al Attas converted from the penalty spot.

Al Noubi then set up Al Attas for a tap-in. Al Wahda forward Al Akbari buried his header to make it 3-0.

A Nepalese handball led to another penalty with Bawazir stepping up to dispatch it this time.

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Finally, a header from substitute Al Hammadi in the second half sealed the win.

UAE will face Lebanon next on Monday before taking on Uzbekistan on Wednesday.

Coach Hassan Al Abdoli will be pleased with the emphatic win given the boost to their goal difference, especially since only the Group winners will be guaranteed entry to next January’s tournament in China.

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