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Asian Cup: India must be wary of wounded UAE (Preview)

IANS  |  Abu Dhabi 

Indias 4-1 victory over in the opening match of the 2019 was phenomenal, but now boys have an even bigger task on hand.

Their next opponents are hosts UAE at the Zayed City on Thursday where they will hope for a repeat.

will be pleased with how the second half against turned out. not only managed to shut down a lethal Thai attack after being tied 1-1 at the break, but also threatened at the other end through quick transitions in attack.

That stupendous show earned three valuable points, a place on top of the group and a goal average of plus three.

"We have a very young side here and they are excited. Of course, hosts UAE will be a different game. They are a very good side but they are just another team standing in our way," Constantine said.

India grabbed their chances against with the strikers clinical upfront. scored a brace, while and scored the other two goals.

Although he was not among the goals, the who caught everyone's eye was Ashique Kuruniyan. Chhetri and the had their eyes on goal whenever they were on the ball and the direct running of the latter and the technique and finishing prowess of the former left the opposition's defence helpless. More of the same will be expected against a superior opponent in UAE.

With a ranking of 79, UAE are the highest-ranked team in Group A and pose a difficult challenge for India. The Whites will look to boss the midfield where and will come up against a tightly-knit three-man midfield.

India will also be required to be vigilant at the back as the likes of and 2015 Asian of the Year are goal-scorers with predatory instincts in the attacking third. Mabkhout is seven goals shy of becoming the UAE's all-time top scorer. The defensive pairing of and will be kept busy at the back.

UAE will miss the services of the injured who is regarded as one of Asia's best players, but Alberto Zaccheroni's men have enough firepower to test in India's goal.

UAE were held by in their opening match and, in front of their home crowd, they will be eager to make amends.

"What we lacked on the pitch was the fighting qualities from the players. We will address this when we are preparing for the next game against India and we'll come with a different attitude," Zaccheroni said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 16:28 IST