The UAE will face Gambia in a friendly later this month as part of their preparations for the upcoming World Cup play-offs.
The national team, attempting to qualify for a global finals for only the second time in the country’s history, are set to meet the West Africans on May 29 in Dubai. They then fly the following day to Doha ahead of their play-off against Australia on June 7.
The winner of that match progress to face Peru, the fifth-placed team in South American qualification, six days later for a place at the World Cup later this year. Both play-offs take place at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.
The majority of the UAE squad are scheduled to meet on May 24 – the 2021/22 Adnoc Pro League concludes the day before – with those involved in the President’s Cup final between Sharjah and Al Wahda joining the group immediately following the showpiece event on May 27.
The UAE will then meet Gambia, the world’s 123rd-ranked side according to Fifa, as their only warm-up for the crucial Australia encounter. The UAE currently sit 68th in the global standings.
Meanwhile, Australia confirmed on Tuesday that they will play Jordan in a friendly on June 1 in Doha. Both Australia and the UAE booked their spots in the play-offs in March by finishing third in their respective groups in the final round of qualification.
The UAE ended a three-match losing streak against Australia by winning their most recent encounter, claiming a 1-0 victory in January 2019 in the Asian Cup quarter-finals.
Should the UAE progress past the play-offs against Australia and Peru, they will be placed in Group D at the 2022 World Cup, alongside defending champions France, Denmark, and Tunisia. Their first match would be against France on November 22.