Gulf Cup of Nations: Bert van Marwijk under renewed pressure after UAE lose to Iraq

National team suffer a 2-0 defeat at Khalifa International Stadium

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The UAE's Gulf Cup hopes suffered a setback on Friday evening after the national team were defeated 2-0 by Iraq.

Striker Alaa Abbas scored the opening goal in the sixth minute, before fellow forward Alaa Abdul Zahra doubled Iraq's advantage in the 37th minute.

The UAE's loss at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha follows their opening 3-0 win over Yemen, so Bert van Marwijk's side still have their semi-final destiny in their own hands.

Tournament hosts Qatar beat Yemen 6-0 Friday's later game, securing their first win after losing 2-1 to Iraq in their opener.

It means a victory for UAE over Qatar on Monday will guarantee their progress into the last four. Qatar need a draw to go through.

The loss to Iraq is sure to put the pressure back on UAE manager Van Marwijk, particularly if the national team fail to advance from their Gulf Cup group.

The Dutchman has found himself under scrutiny after successive defeats to Thailand and Vietnam left the UAE's hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup hanging in the balance.