Van Marwijk warns UAE against complacency after 3 wins on the trot - GulfToday

Van Marwijk warns UAE against complacency after 3 wins on the trot


UAE’s players celebrate after their victory against Indonesia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier match on Friday. Agence France-Presse

UAE head coach Bert van Marwijk warned against overconfidence as his side marched to a 5-0 victory against Indonesia on Friday, their third consecutive win in Group G of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Ali Mabkhout and Fabio Lima struck for the UAE inside the opening half an hour, and the pair were back on the scoresheet after the restart before veteran Sebastian Tagliabue came off the bench to round off the scoring with five minutes to go.

“I am happy with the big result, but I was not satisfied with our performance at times during the match,” said Van Marwijk.

“We started very well, then we were overconfident, and that caused our level to drop towards the end of the first half. I always talk to my players about overconfidence and how it can work against us if we do not deal with it carefully.

“I spoke to the players at half time about rebuilding our trust and coming back with a stronger performance in the second half to seal the win,” he added.

The former Saudi Arabia and Australia boss named an unchanged line up for the third game in a row as his UAE side scored 12 goals and conceded just one over 270 minutes of action against Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

“I was looking forward to giving some players a bit of rest, but we have not achieved our objective in these Qualifiers. We still have one final big game against Vietnam to finish the job. I fully trust the players to do their best in the next match.

“We know that Vietnam alongside Thailand are two of the most difficult teams to face in this group. We are fully aware of the abilities of Vietnam and our aim is to win the final game. We need to maintain our playing style and not change our philosophy.”

With the score at 2-0, Indonesia were given a golden opportunity to half the deficit before the break as UAE captain Walid Abbas handled a cross from Aswani Bahar inside the box.

Skipper Evan Dimas sent his shot from the spot towards the bottom corner but goalkeeper Ali Khaseif produced a fine save, denying Indonesia a sixth goal of the campaign.

“Congratulations to the UAE. We were unable to match them and we came out on the losing side,” said Indonesia’s assistant coach Choi In-cheul who filled in for the suspended Shin Tae-yong.

“If Evan Dimas could score from the penalty, the match would have been different, but we were unable to score and that was part of why we lost.

“The players are learning from the experience of these matches, and we will try to improve tactically and overall in the next competitions because most of the players are new to international football and inexperienced. The future will be bright for Indonesian football.”

Meanwhile, head coach Park Hang-seo lauded his Vietnam players after an “exhausting” win against Malaysia in Group G of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Friday.

Vietnam’s resilience saw them edge Malaysia 2-1 to remain firmly in the driver’s seat to win Group G and earn a ticket to the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Sitting on 17 points, two ahead of hosts the UAE heading into their clash on Tuesday, Vietnam only need to avoid defeat to book their spot in the final round.

“An exhausting game,” Park said post-match .

“If this victory can get us into the final qualifying round of the World Cup, I’ll be really proud. I want to thank the players, who have fought until the last seconds.”

It was indeed a tough victory as after having taken the lead through Nguyen Tien Linh in the 27th minute, Vietnam found themselves facing a fightback as Malaysia desperately tried to save their campaign.

Tan Cheng Hoe’s side drew level through Guilherme Lucrecio’s penalty in the 72nd minute but an undaunted Vietnam sealed the winner through captain Que Ngoc Hai’s spot-kick nine minutes from time to set them up nicely for the UAE.

Park said he expects another massive test against UAE.

“I have watched them (UAE) play with Malaysia. Vietnam have also faced them before. They are strong opponents. Although Vietnam are leading the group, UAE have top quality in terms of physique and skills. However, we will find a way to win the game.”

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