UAE head coach Dr Abdullah Misfer was taken to hospital just before kick-off as the Whites played out a drab 0-0 draw with Jordan in their second Group D match at the 2016 AFC Under-23 Championship.
The UAE Football Association’s Twitter account revealed Misfer fell ill but was in a healthy condition, with assistant Noureddine Abidi taking charge in his absence. The UAE FA tweeted: “Dr Abdullah Misfer had been ill before the game and is now in the hospital and in a healthy condition.”
UAE FA news editor Abdulmalik Hisham told Sport360 after the game: “He will be with us for training and back in charge for the Vietnam match.”
Perhaps the absence of their coach on the sidelines was a factor as the UAE toiled against Jordan at Doha’s Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, the result leaving both teams locked on four points at the top of the table.
They enjoyed the better of the first half, their best chance coming in the opening five minutes when Al Wahda forward Mohamed Al Akbari’s venomous shot was beaten away by Jordan stopper Noureddin Ateyah.
Captain Abdulla Ali then sent a fizzing shot just wide as the UAE dominated the opening 45 minutes. Baha Faisal Mohammad was off target with Jordan’s best chance, the frontman also wanted a penalty when he tumbled in the area under a Salem Sultan challenge but South Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok was unmoved.
The Whites were second best in the second period. Ehsan Manel Haddad hit the side netting and Mohammad then brought a fine stop out of UAE goalkeeper Mohammed Busanda before substitute Ahmed Al Hashmi had the UAE’s best sight of goal, arrowing his shot just wide.
Australia beat Vietnam 2-0 earlier in the day to go to within a point of the UAE and Jordan, with the top two progressing to the knockout stages. The Whites face Vietnam in their final match on Wednesday, needing to avoid defeat to progress.
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