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Thu 15 Mar 2012 11:38 AM

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Olympics beckon for UAE soccer team

UAE dramatically beat Uzbekistan, while Bahrain crash out and Oman reach play-offs

Olympics beckon for UAE soccer team
Ahmed Khalil netted one of the goals in the UAEs dramatic victory over Uzbekistan.

The UAE will join some of the world’s top soccer teams at this summer’s Olympic Games in London after the squad qualified yesterday.

The national under-23 team came from behind twice, before scoring the winning goal in a 2-3 victory against Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

Two goals from Al Ahli’s Ahmed Khalil, plus a stoppage-time winner from substitute Haboosh Saleh sealed the dramatic win, which left the Emirati team top of Asia Group B.

Meanwhile, Bahrain - which also harboured hopes of making the Olympics - lost out due to a 2-0 defeat by Japan.

Oman made the Olympics play-offs, which will be held in Vietnam later this month, courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia.

Football is played at the under-23 level in the Olympics, although each side is allowed to pick three senior players.

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