UAE will head into semi-final with confidence, says Ali

Mahdi Ali believes United Arab Emirates will head into their Asian Cup semi-final full of confidence after Friday's win over Japan.

United Arab Emirates head coach Mahdi Ali believes his side fully deserved their Asian Cup quarter-final victory over Japan on Friday.

After the game finished 1-1 in normal time, the extra period of 30 minutes failed to produce a goal before UAE progressed 5-4 on penalties to dump out the reigning champions and set up a clash with hosts Australia in the last four.

"I would like to congratulate the players the team for winning this game," said Ali.

"I said that it would be a tough game. I told the players it's not always that you have to play very nice football to win the game, sometimes you have to play with your heart, with your spirit and we worked very hard to win this game.

"I think we deserved to come to the semi-final.

"Of course winning against Japan and the winner of the last Asian Cup, it's a great thing it will give the players more confidence and more motivation for the next game. We fought for the 120 minutes for this game and thanks god that we win this game.

"Of course playing against Australia in Australia will be a very tough game.

"We just finished the game now, we have only two days - Australia they have three days. 

"It will be a very tough game and the stadium will be very crowded and we hope that we do the same in the next game."