Alberto Zaccheroni backing UAE to beat Qatar in semifinal showdown

Ali Mabkhout will be a key man for the hosts as they face Qatar in the Asian Cup last-four clash. (AFP)
Updated 28 January 2019

Alberto Zaccheroni backing UAE to beat Qatar in semifinal showdown

  • UAE coach sure side can rise to the occasion to make home final.
  • Hosts face a Qatar side yet to concede in tournament.

LONDON: Alberto Zaccheroni has promised the UAE will turn up with their A-game when they face Qatar in their semifinal showdown on Tuesday.
The hosts made the last-four thanks to a shock 1-0 win over defending champions Australian in Al-Ain on Friday — Ali Mabkhout capitalizing on a Milos Degenek mistake to send the Whites to the semis for the second successive Asian Cup. Before that, however, they had come in for some criticism having labored to victories over Kyrgyzstan and India and looked far from possible champions in draws against Bahrain and Thailand.
That is something the Italian coach is all too aware of, but keen to stress the positives Zaccheroni cut a confident figure ahead of the crunch clash against their Gulf rivals and has backed his boys to fire the UAE into the final.
"The players who are fit are highly motivated and all aware of the importance of this game," he said.
"We have faced our difficulties in this tournament in the group stage and in the last 16.
"But we are growing into the tournament and our performance against Australia has boosted our confidence.”
Even without the injured Omar Abdulrahman the UAE have underperformed so far. But there is the sense that the side that can still boast of having the likes of Mabkhout have a big performance in them and Zaccheroni, and the horde of passionate home fans, will have their fingers crossed that that that is proved tonight in Abu Dhabi.
"The UAE faced some difficulties in the first games of the groups stages and even in the round of 16, especially because we had some teams that defending well,” Zaccheroni said.
“But the UAE team is evolving.The performance in the last game was very good. I'm very much aware of the difficulties of the game against Qatar, but I’m confident we will be able to win the game with a very good performance of our players.
“Each game for us is very important and we view it like a final.
“We're aware of our responsibility as players or as medical staff or administrative staff. We are all willing to show the responsibility to defeat Qatar in the semifinal.”
One problem about tournament football is that the matches come thick and fast leading to players getting tired. Zaccheroni, though, kicked any suggestion this might affect the result of the match into touch, saying: “We are aware that what matters is the short time.
“We hope that we can recover our strength and efforts in the next game because we don’t have much time between the games.
“This applies to both us and Qatar. We all suffer from the short time for the players to recover. But this does not hinder the UAE from doing very well in the game.”
Qatar reached this evening’s showdown thanks to a shock 1-0 quarterfinal win over favorites South Korea. They have done well to get this far and the UAE side are very aware of the threat they pose.
“Qatar haven't conceded a goal yet in this tournament," Zaccheroni.
"They've been together for many years. That stability is a source of great strength for them."


Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

Updated 19 August 2019

Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

  • Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015
  • Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa

LONDON: Floyd Mayweather released a video on Sunday saying he was traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks on a rematch with Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015 and it looks like the Kingdom could host the second bout between the two.

In the video, Mayweather said: “It’s an honor to come to Saudi Arabia to sit down with you guys to talk about the Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch. Saudi Arabia — Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather — I’m on my way.”
Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve, the latter not counting toward his professional record.
There has been no official announcement from Saudi authorities.