2019 AFC Beach Soccer Championship: UAE secure shot at World Cup spot with Malaysia win

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(Twitter/@uaefa_ae).

The UAE have moved within one win of both a cherished spot at this year’s Beach Soccer World Cup and the ongoing 2019 AFC Beach Soccer Championship’s decider after they dismantled Malaysia 8-1 in Thursday’s quarter-final.

The Whites were relentless in Pataya, Thailand and a three-goal opening period set-up their dominant triumph. Goalkeeper Mohamed Al Bahri, Haitham Mohamed (2), Kamal Ali, Ali Mohammad, Walid Mohammad (2) and Humaid Jamal got on the score sheet.

Neighbours Oman await in Friday’s last-four tie (14:00 GST) after they edged Bahrain 5-3. Victory for Mohamed Al Maazmi’s men will secure one of three slots at November’s global event – which will represent a sixth-ever qualification – in Paraguay, plus set-up a chance to avenge 2017’s defeat in the Asian showpiece.

“The high sense of responsibility from the players and their recognition of the value of the national badge had an important impact in achieving these positive results and to qualify for the semi-finals,” said assistant coach Saeed Yousif.

“Our players, plus the technical and administrative staff, are fully aware of the value of this continental tournament and the need to continue to make good efforts to reach the goal of qualifying for the World Cup and compete for the title at this tournament.

“Oman are a good, strong team who have played excellently during the tournament. We respect them and all the teams in the tournament. A big game awaits to make the final and World Cup.”

In the other side of the draw, holders Iran were dumped out 3-2 in extra time by Japan. The reward for Samurai Blue is a clash with Palestine, who beat Lebanon 4-3.

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