DUBAI // The UAE have lost their last friendly outing ahead of the AFC U23 Championships in Qatar next week, going down 2-0 win to a strong South Korea team at Al Shabab’s Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium.
In front of UAE Football Association president Yousef Al Serkal, Abdullah Misfir’s men struggled to impose themselves on the game and conceded two second-half goals that will leave last-minute concerns over their readiness to take on Australia in their group opener in Doha on January 14.
The competition, where a top-three finish will ensure qualification to the Rio Olympic Games this summer, kicks off on January 12 and will run until the end of the month.
The players will now rejoin their clubs for the next round of Arabian Gulf League fixtures over the weekend before reconvening on Sunday to travel to Doha, by the time which Misfir would have trimmed his squad down to 23 players.
Following their opener against the Australians, the UAE will play against Jordan on January 17 and Vietnam on January 20.
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