Football: UAE thrash India 6-0 in international friendly
The Indian football team was handed a crushing defeat by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an international friendly at the Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium in Dubai on Monday. Striker Ali Mabkhout scored a hat-trick as the UAE claimed a 6-0 win over the Indians. This was India's heaviest defeat in international football since November 2010, when they lost 1-9 to Kuwait.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 12th minute as Mabkhout fired one. Just after the half-hour mark, he added another to double the lead. The UAE maintained their dominance in the second half too as Mabkhout went on to complete his hat-trick (60'). Meanwhile, Khalil Ibrahim (64'), Fabio Lima (72'), and Sebastian Tagliabúe (84') also scored to make it a one-sided affair.
The result comes less than a week after India held Oman to a 1-1 draw. Interestingly, Team India's manager Igor Stimac made eight changes to the team that drew against Oman, this time. He brought in Gurpreet Singh, who led the side, Adil Khan, Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Apuia, Pritam Kotal, Liston Colaco, and Mashoor Shereef into the starting XI.
As stated, the UAE, ranked 30 places above India in FIFA Rankings, gave the visitors their heaviest defeat since 2010. The international friendly matches are being played as part of preparations for the joint-qualification round of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup.
Earlier this month, Team India held Oman 1-1 in its first international match in more than a year. Although India conceded a goal in the 42nd minute, Manvir Singh fired the equalizer in the 55th minute to pull off a draw in India's first international outing after the COVID-enforced break. In that game too, Stimac handed debuts to as many as 10 Indian players.