UAE coach resigns after Socceroos defeat

After the head coach of the United Arab Emirates announced his resignation in the post-match press conference things quickly shifted away from their 2-0 loss to Australia and their 2018 World Cup hopes.

Following a question on his preparatory work for the remaining matches in a bid to try and revive the UAE’s campaign, coach Mahdi Ali conceded it would be his last match with the squad.

“I’ve spent around 13 years with the national team and five years with the first team. We have achieved a lot and we have worked very hard.

“I think now, this is the time for me to leave. “

The UAE coach wasn’t willing to reveal anything about his future plans, but admitted he was proud of his efforts and thought this was the best decision for the national team.

Furthermore, it seems the decision would not surprise players and officials inside the UAE camp, after coach Ali admitted he had tried to resign earlier from the top coaching job.

“I actually resigned before the Iraq game, but the federation insisted I continue as coach.

“After five years I’ve done my best. We have achieved a lot – winning the Golf Cup and qualifying for the first time into the fourth World Cup qualifying round. I don’t think under these circumstances and conditions you can achieve better than that.”

With three matches remaining, it seems likely that the sides World Cup hopes sailed with their 2-0 loss last night. Sitting in fourth position on the Group B ladder with nine points, they would have to win all of their upcoming matches and be at the mercy of other teams results to qualify.

The realisation that they would not qualify and progress to Russia in 2018 became apparent after the full time whistle blew and a UAE player broke down into tears on the pitch.

For their next match, the United Arab Emirates will face Thailand away in June. Before taking on Saudi Arabia and Iraq later in the year for their final Asian qualification matches.

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