Asian Cup: Mubarak, Mabkhout on target as UAE punish India

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India went on to win the match 4-1 and 34-year-old Chhetri surpassed Lionel Messi to become the second-most prolific global scorer in the list of active players.

For the first time ever, twenty-four nations will compete in the pan-Asian competition instead of the usual sixteen. His team remain on one point following the goalless draw from their opening match against Palestine.

"But the players showed great spirit and willpower tonight and we deserved the victory".

"This player, a Bahrain national, is now being detained in prison in Thailand awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings to Bahrain, where he was previously convicted of a criminal offence, the validity of which he strongly contests", it said. "It's important to grow into the tournament".

Australia, the second-best team in the Asian conference behind Iran, have been in a similar position before at the Asian Cup - in 2007, the Socceroos drew their opener to Oman and then lost 3-1 to Iraq, only to qualify for the knockout stage by thrashing Thailand 4-0 in their last group game.

But India can not sit on its laurels for long as they are up for a much tougher opponent in the form of UAE on Thursday. Courtesy of this win, UAE go top of the Group A while India move to the second spot.

Eurosport will broadcast the games of the Asian Cup 2019 live in the European countries.

Until Mubarak's strike - his first for his country - the 2015 semi-finalists had been largely restricted to pot shots that threatened little but the fleets of luxury cars in the stadium parking lot.

"These big games, the margins are small and us missing chances like that [cost us]".

As Bahrain failed to translate their dominance into goals, Thailand started the second half on a more promising note as they become adventurous in their forays upfront.

"But if you don't convert your chances you pay for it - and we paid for it".

"Before, nobody believed in these players", added the Belgian.

Defenders Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika will have a very important role to play as UAE is known for playing attacking football and they boast of strikers like Ali Mabkhout and Khalil among their ranks.

But Chanathip, whose fans compare him to Lionel Messi, seized victory for the War Elephants near the hour-mark with a superbly struck first-time shot that rocketed past Sayed Shubbar Alawi in the Bahrain goal.

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