Football 2 years ago

Open gates for Socceroos UAE clash

  • Open gates for Socceroos UAE clash

    Emirate's Ahmed Khalil fights for the ball with Palestine's Haytham Theeb (L) during their World Cup 2018 Asian qualifying football match on March 24, 2016 at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Arab Emirates football association has thrown open the gates to Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier with Australia.

There will be no charge to attend the match (on Wednesday morning AEST), maximising hopes for a capacity crowd of 42,000 at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.

Both sides recorded first-up group stage wins on Thursday, meaning the winner will be in pole position to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

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The UAE are looking to attend just their second World Cup, and their first since 1990.

Captain Ahmed Khalil scored both goals in a 2-1 away win to Japan that has the oil-rich nation off on the right foot.

Khalil called on local fans to fill the stadium, known locally as Al-Jazira Stadium after its tenant club, against the Socceroos.

"We say to the UAE fans that you are our No.1 player," he told local newspaper The National.

"We need you in the stands in front of the Australian team and we know you will not let us down.

"Our goal is to qualify for the World Cup ... the team (has) resolved to fight and to not shrink from anything because we are soldiers fighting for our country."

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