Video: Ruthless UAE destroy Malaysia 10-0 in 2018 World Cup qualifier

Video: Ruthless UAE destroy Malaysia 10-0 in 2018 World Cup qualifier
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Published September 4th, 2015 - 14:49 GMT via

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UAE produce a perfect 10
UAE produce a perfect 10

The portents had pointed to a shellacking for Malaysia, given their five-match winless streak and two recent 6-0 drubbings, and that was what the UAE duly delivered in Thursday night’s 2018 World Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi.

With Omar Abdul Rahman pulling the strings in midfield, the rampant hosts ruthlessly exposed Malaysia’s alarming defensive fragility to saunter to a ridiculously easy 10-0 win, with strikers Ahmad Khalil (4) and Ali Mabkhout (3) plundering seven goals between them.

It was the UAE’s second-biggest victory after their 12-0 destruction of Brunei away in 2001.

Dollah Salleh’s men are ranked 98 places below Mahdi Ali’s side, who came third in January’s Asian Cup in Australia and who led Thursday’s encounter 7-0 at half-time.

Malaysia’s recent results included 6-0 thrashings in Oman in March and, even more ignominiously, by Palestine at home in June.

But the UAE, whom Salleh called “the best side in Asia” before the match, ruthlessly inflicted an even more brutal beating on the ex-striker’s men, who are languishing at the bottom of Asian zone Group A with a solitary point.

Damage limitation was ostensibly the name of the game for Malaysia as they deployed a 5-4-1 formation, with Mohammad Yahyah the lone frontman.

The UAE, meanwhile, were set up in a more balanced and traditional 4-4-2 line-up at Al Jazira’s Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium.

As such, it was no surprise that the home side dominated possession from the outset, with playmaker Omar Abdul Rahman typically prominent.

Yet with temperatures in the late 30s and with 50 per cent humidity, it was also understandable that their attacking forays were ponderous rather than incisive in the early stages.

But they did not need to be, as Malaysia’s resistance dissolved in the unforgiving conditions under almost every attack.

The unlikely figure of centre-back Mohannad Salem began the rout on 16 minutes. The Al Ain man surged into the box and lobbed Amer Abdul Rahman’s lofted through-ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi.

Then, in the space of 11 calamitous minutes for Malaysia shortly afterwards, the UAE as good as wrapped the game up when Mabkhout (2), Khalil (2) and Habib Fardan all netted.

Each goal was the result of lamentable defending from the beleaguered visitors, and engineered by the superlative Abdul Rahman pair of Omar and Amer.

The best of the lot was Khalil’s second to make it 5-0, the muscular Al Ahli striker bulleting a header past Fahmi from Amer’s sumptuous right-wing corner.

It could have been worse for the hapless away side if defender Walid Abbas’s header had not cannoned off the bar in the midst of the goal frenzy.

But another goal for the visitors was inexorable and it duly arrived when Omar pierced the crumbling blue wall for defender Mohammad Ahmad to slot the ball past Fahmi on 38 minutes to make it 7-0.

Salleh’s men were not completely broken, however, with Majed Hassan curling a free-kick narrowly over the bar as half-time loomed.

But the UAE were now indulgent in their overwhelming superiority, Omar nearly making it 8-0 after the midfielder and assist-maker Mabkhout exchanged outrageous flicks.

To their credit, the visitors had not wilted completely, and showed more enterprise and gumption at the start of the second period.

But their miserable night was compounded 15 minutes after the restart, when Fahmi had to be replaced in goal by Khairul Khalid after succumbing to a head injury after a collision with Mabkhout.

Khalil then completed his hat-trick with an accomplished finish after racing on to another Omar ball over the top 20 minutes before full-time.

The frizzy-haired schemer was revelling in orchestrating his side’s goal glut, teeing up Mabkhout to emulate Khalil’s feat with a thumping left-foot drive into the corner minutes later.

But Khalil was to prevail in their pair’s personal joust for supremacy almost immediately when he capitalised on another defensive disaster to fire home his side’s 10th goal of an astonishing night.

Mercifully for Malaysia, the bustling striker was then replaced by Al Wahda’s teenage forward Mohammad Al Akbari.

The indefatigable Yahyah went close with two late efforts for the Harimau Malaya, but otherwise their evening was utterly forgettable and unedifying.

For the UAE, meanwhile, it was an occasion to savour, albeit against limited opponents.

They now face the sterner test of a trip to Palestine, who led Group A on goal difference from second-placed Saudi Arabia and the UAE before the game, on Tuesday.

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2015. All rights reserved.

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