Special coins minted to mark UAE hosting of Asian Cup

FIFA statement on Hakeem Al Araibi

If you ask me - without taking anything from Thailand, the least hard one among the three matches was against Thailand.The most hard game one will be against the UAE and lest we forget, Bahrain will be equally tough for us.

Hakeem led Syria during the qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where Syria reached the regional play-off before losing to the Socceroos.

This was the closest India had come to scoring a goal against the world's 79th- ranked team in their second group stage match of the Asian Cup.

Stange follows Thailand's Milovan Rajevac to the exit, after the Serb was dismissed following the War Elephants' 4-1 defeat to India.

Preview: If Thailand was big, India are faced with a bigger test in hosts United Arab Emirates in the AFC Asian Cup on Thursday, overcoming whom will require them to play out of their skins.

"The Syrian Arab Football Federation has made a decision to dismiss coach Bernd Stange", said a statement on the organisation's Facebook page, adding that former national coach Fajr Ibrahim would take charge for the final Group B game against Australia. "We all hope to win to satisfy the fans, and our focus is on the India game". The quick work on the break by the team hassled Thailand throughout the match and the Blue Tigers will be looking to repeat their heroics on Thursday as well against a strong UAE. Ashique Kurniyan is expected to keep his place in the team after an fantastic performance against Thailand.

There aren't many changes which can be expected in India's side for this game, but Chhetri will hold the key if India has to create history. Udanta laid it off for Sunil Chhetri on his left and continued to dash forward.

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As the minutes ticked by, India began playing with more intent. "UAE are the host nation and want to do well and it is going to be very hard".

Sunil Chhetri - To score goals up front India will be dependent on ever reliable capatain.

The Asian Cup is now being hosted in the UAE, with 24 teams aiming to be crowned champions of the continent.

Pronoy Halder - Halder is often regarded as India's best Defensive Midfielder. Assisted by Ali Ahmed Mabkhout. Mabkhout had a bad game against Bahrain but will look for redemption against India. India remain unchanged from the side that thrashed Thailand! He is a traditional winger and is known for his crosses inside the box.

And that is a good sign for Constantine's team, which will enhance its prospects of qualifying for the second round of the tournament for the first time in over 50 years if it is able to win or at least draw against the UAE.

The two sides have played 13 times against each other and India have lost eight and registered only two wins.

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