"Indians were a tough side" Ahmed Khalil UAE Striker

After a 1-1 draw against Bahrain and a point on the Group A table, the UAE find itself in a crucial tie versus India on Thursday.

Ahmed Khalil, the substitute striker, who drew level in the first match through his penalty, said Indians were a tough side.

"Indians have improved a lot in last two years. They have done well to reach here. We will have to work things out before facing them. We have to win that match," Khalil said.

With hopes of a nation riding on them, the UAE will lock horns with India at Zayed Sports City Stadium on Thursday.

Omar Abdulrahman, the UAE magician, was sorely missed in the opening match of the AFC Asian Cup against Bahrain.It was always Omar, who would roll out perfect passes into the box for striker Ali Mabkhout to convert. With the regular service missing, Mabkhout was ineffective in front of goal in the opener. Omar, the former Al Ain star now plays for Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal, is recovering from an injury and was ruled out of the tournament.

After a 1-1 draw against Bahrain and a point on the Group A table, the UAE find itself in a crucial tie versus India on Thursday and 'Amoory' urges fellow countrymen to stand behind the 'Whites'.

"Support and encouragement is the least that can be provided to this team representing the country in an important tournament," Omar was quoted by UAE FA.

"I have confidence in the ability of these players to reach the next round and continue the quest for the title. A solid public support will raise their spirit and bring the best out of them. The team carries the hopes and dreams of all the people in the UAE and needs the efforts from all of us. We must all be keen to support and encourage the players. Whatever the outcome, the tournament is still long and the team got great chance of progressing further in this tournament."

Omar said it was time to move on rather than worrying about the drawn result of the first match against Bahrain. "The 'Whites' did well but couldn't succeed in achieving the victory expected by fans."

Omar noted that the UAE didn't have luck in the opener. "I wish success to players in both the games - against India and Thailand."


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