UAE face North Korea test in 2012 Olympic draw

The draw for qualifying for the 2014 World Cup has also been made, with the UAE coach Katanec happy to see his team being paired with India.

KUALA LUMPUR // The UAE Olympic football team has been drawn against North Korea in the second-round of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The UAE will have the advantage of traveling to North Korea first on June 19, before completing two-legged tie four days later.

Elswhere, Iraq, who stole the limelight by making it to the semi-finals of the 2004 Athens Olympics under Adnan Hamad, are aiming to play in the Olympics for the fifth time after 1980, 1984, 1988 and 2004. But standing in their way are rivals Iran

Iran reached the quarter-finals of the 1976 Montreal Olympics and also qualified for the next edition in Moscow but did not take part in the finals. They are bidding to make it to the biggest sporting extravaganza for the fifth time after 1964, 1972, 1976 and 1980.

Japan, who have appeared eight times in the Olympics men's football tournament, will host Kuwait in the first leg on June 19 before playing in Kuwait City four days later.

Australia will face Yemen in the second-round.

Asia were allotted 3.5 slots for the 2012 London Olympics men's football tournament.

The 12 winners from Round 2 will be divided into three groups of four teams each in the third round.

Again, a home-and-away format from September 21, 2011, to March 14, 2012, will determine the winners who will represent the continent in the Olympics.

Three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a play-off at a centralised venue from March 25 to 29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF for a berth in the Olympics.

Second-round draw

Qatar vs India
Iraq vs Iran
Bahrain vs Thailand
Australia vs Yemen
Japan vs Kuwait
Syria vs Turkmenistan
DPR Korea vs UAE
Korea Republic vs Jordan
Uzbekistan vs Hong Kong
Saudi Arabia vs Vietnam
China vs Oman
Lebanon vs Malaysia

UAE's road to 2014 World Cup in Brazil starts with India

The UAE's quest to reach the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil starts with a two-legged tie with India after the Asian Football Confederation's first and second round draws were made today.

“We are normally the better team and we are the favourite,” said Srecko Katenec, the national team coach after the draw was made. “But we must take these games seriously because in football you never know what can happen.”

The UAE failed to score a goal in the Asian Cup  in January, but crushed India 5-0 in a friendly in November. The winner, on aggregate, from the home-and-away matches on July 23 and July 28 will  join 19 other Asian nations in four qualifying groups of five. The  winner of each group will advance to Brazil 2014.

The UAE have not  played in the World Cup finals since 1990 in Italy. The country does  not have to play in the first round, when 16 of Asia’s lowest-ranked  sides open qualifying with home and away ties on June 29 and July 3.

Palestine will play its first 2014 World Cup qualifier at home after drawing Afghanistan in the opening round of Asian matches in June with the game scheduled to be played in Ramallah.

Palestine were eliminated four years ago when it could not fulfil an away leg in Singapore because of Israeli travel restrictions.

Forty-three teams will compete for Asia's four automatic slots in Brazil, plus an intercontinental play-off place.

In the first round, the 16 lowest-ranked teams play eight home-and-away matches on June 29 and July 3.

The UAE have not played in the World Cup final since 1990.

First round

Malaysia v Taiwan

Bangladesh v Pakistan

Cambodia v Laos

Sri Lanka v Philippines

Afghanistan v Palestine

Vietnam v Macau

Nepal v East Timor

Mongolia v Myanmar

* First legs to be played on June 29. Second legs to be

played on July 3.

Second round

Thailand v Afghanistan or Palestine

Lebanon v Bangladesh or Pakistan

China v Cambodia or Laos

Turkmenistan v Indonesia

Kuwait v Sri Lanka or Philippines

Oman v Mongolia or Myanmar

Saudi Arabia v Hong Kong

Iran v Maldives

Syria v Tajikistan

Qatar v Vietnam or Macau

Iraq v Yemen

Singapore v Malaysia or Taiwan

Uzbekistan v Kyrgyzstan

United Arab Emirates v India

Jordan v Nepal or East Timor

* First legs to be played on July 23. Second legs to be

played on July 28.

* With agencies