The UAE launched their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a decisive 4-0 victory over Nepal in Dubai, securing the top spot in Group H.
Al Hammadi scored the opening goal in the 11th minute, followed by two goals from star striker Ali Mabkhout in the 36th and 44th minutes. Brazil-born Lima added the fourth goal in the 46th minute. The top two teams in the group will advance to the next round of the qualifying campaign.
In other matches, Asia’s footballing heavyweights, including Australia, Japan, and South Korea, secured big wins, marking the beginning of the road to the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Australia defeated Bangladesh 7-0, Japan won 5-0 against Myanmar, and South Korea beat Singapore 5-0, with Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min among the goal-scorers.