A second-half hat-trick from history making Ali Mabkhout helped him become the UAE’s all-time record scorer and earn a patient 5-0 triumph against Indonesia, making it two wins from two second-round World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Bert van Marwijk’s competitive home debut began in muted fashion as the Whites struggled to break down Group G-opponents ranked 101 places below them by FIFA, in 167th. It took until the 41st minute for debutant goalkeeper Wawan Hendrawan to fumble an over-hit Ali Saleh cross and Al Wahda midfielder Khalil Ibrahim, at the second attempt, gratefully lash home a first goal in three caps.
Instructions to pick up the pace were clearly issued at the interval. They were adhered to in an improved second-half performance from which prolific Al Jazira hit man Mabkhout cheekily chipped in on 51 minutes after a Zulfiandi slip, converted a penalty once Saleh’s shot was illegally blocked by vice-captain Hansamu Yama’s arm and rounded the goalkeeper from the lively aforementioned Al Wasl winger’s searching through-ball.
These strikes made it a landmark 54 goals from 81 caps, overtaking Al Shaab icon Adnan Al Talyani’s 22-year record of 52 in 161. Al Nasr warrior Tariq Ahmed – on home soil – then rounded off the scoring in injury time when he raced onto fellow substitute Ahmed Khalil’s saved shot.
Here are the player ratings from Dubai’s Al Maktoum Stadium:
Khalid Essa 6: Precious little to do for the Al Ain goalkeeper. Came out well to head clear at start of second half. Acrobatically tipped over a Stefano Lilipaly free-kick from 20 yards.
Mohammed Al Menhali 7: Denied clear first-half penalty when felled by left-back Ricky Fajrin. Adventurous throughout.
Khalifa Al Hammadi 7: Tenacious Al Jazira centre-back should be a fixture in this side for a decade. Didn’t give, admittedly limited, Indonesia a sniff.
Mohammed Al Attas 6: Measured half of the all-Jazira pairing. Passed forwards when in possession.
Walid Abbas 6: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club veteran almost scored with a header in opening minutes. Steady presence.
Ahmed Barman 6: Kept it simple in the middle of the park. Surprise figure on corners.
Ali Salmeen 6: Ditched the protective headgear as game went on. Always open for a pass and aware of any danger.
Khalil Ibrahim 7: Another solid display by the emerging Wahda ace. Scored, at second attempt, on the goal line and then teed up Mabkhout for the second. Made way for Omar Abdulrahman.
Jassem Yaqoub 5: On home turf, the Al Nasr youngster didn’t inspire in the No10 role.
Ali Saleh 7: Flashes of brilliance from the emerging Al Wasl teenager. His talent merits bedding-in period during second round. His shot won second-half penalty and smart pass put Mabkhout clear for the fourth.
Ali Mabkhout 8: An audacious chipped finish, nonchalant spot-kick and ruthlessly dispatched one-on-one made it five goals from two qualifiers on a historic night for him.
Omar Abdulrahman 6: Recovering 2016 AFC Player of the Year received huge ovation when brought on near hour mark. Will he be ready to start in Thailand on Tuesday?
Ahmed Khalil N/A: Returning Shabab Al Ahli forward placed wide soon after coming on. His presence is a bonus after years of intermittent injury.
Tariq Ahmed N/A: Nasr enforcer helped close out proceedings in familiar surroundings. Was on hand to poke home fifth.
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