Only the UAE can rival Spain on current form

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Only the UAE can rival Spain on current form
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Only the UAE can rival Spain on current form

Ninety-seven places may separate Spain and the UAE in the FIFA World Rankings, but when it comes to form the current European and World champions are the Emirates' only rivals.

A 2-1 win over Uzbekistan on Friday night stretched the UAE's unbeaten run to 13 games and cemented their place at the top of Group E in Asian Cup qualifying.

Only world No1 ranked Spain can boast a better record than Mahdi Ali's men with La Roja in the midst of an 18 game unbeaten sequence stretching back to their 1-0 friendly defeat to England in November 2011.

Like Spain, the UAE's last defeat was also a 1-0 reverse coming against Asain champions Japan last September in Mahdi's first game in charge.

Since then they have gone on to win the Gulf Cup for only the second time in their history with victory over Iraq in the final, while Friday's win over Uzbekistan was their 11th win in a row.

UAE have scored 32 goals in their unbeaten run with just 11 conceded, although they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three games - all 2-1 wins over Uzbekistan Vietnam and Iraq.

UAE are joined in the top three of the form table by another two surprise packages - Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The Baltic duo improve their recent records to eight unbeaten matches after wins over Greece and Moldova respectively in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

European big guns Germany, Netherlands and Russia are seven unbeaten alongside Switzerland, Panama, Mexico and New Zealand while Argentina and Croatian round out the top five having not tasted defeat in six games.

UAE's UNBEATEN RUN

UAE 3-0 Kuwait (Friendly)
UAE 2-2 Uzbekistan (Friendly) 
UAE 6-2 Bahrain (Friendly)
UAE 2-1 Estonia (Friendly)
UAE 2-0 Yemen (Friendly)
UAE 3-1 Yemen (Friendly)
Qatar 1-3 UAE (Gulf Cup)
Bahrain 1-2 UAE (Gulf Cup)
UAE 2-0 Oman (Gulf Cup)
UAE 1-0 Kuwait (Gulf Cup)
UAE 2-1 (AET) Iraq (Gulf Cup)
Vietnam 1-2 UAE (Asian Cup Qual.)
UAE 2-1 Uzbekistan (Asian Cup Qual.)

READ MORE:

- UAE 2-1 Uzbekistan: Amer stars in Omar's absence

- Spain 1-1 Finland: Pukki strikes to ruin Ramos' big night

 

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