Dubai: Forward Ahmad Khalil scored twice to help hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) beat Japan 2-1 in a 2018 football World Cup qualifier.
With this win, the UAE boosted its chances to qualify for the second time for the World Cup finals after the Gulf state participated in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, reports Xinhua news agency.
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Japan, four-time Asian champions, started on a positive note and took the lead through Keisuke Honda, who scored in the 11th minute with a header in front of 63,700 spectators at the sold-out Saitama Stadium here on Thursday.
But soon after the goal, the UAE started counter-attacking as a result forward Ahmad Khalil equalised in the 20th minute and then scored in the 50th minute to pocket the match.
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