• United Arab Emirates bring in ex-Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza
  • Tactician into the role a month after parting company with South American side
  • UAE four points adrift of play-off spot in the race for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

United Arab Emirates have appointed Argentinian Edgardo Bauza as the new coach of their national side as they pursue a place at their first FIFA World Cup in almost 30 years.

Replacing the outgoing Mahdi Ali, who resigned in March following a 2-0 defeat to Australia, Bauza arrives having recently parted company with his native Argentina. UAE currently sit four points adrift of the Socceroos in fourth as they continue to chase the play-off spot in Asian qualifying Group B.

With three games remaining, the Gulf side hope the South American will be able to inspire a late rival to keep their dreams of reaching Russia 2018 alive, having not appeared at the global showpiece since Italy 1990.

The role provides Bauza will a swift return to coaching, having seen his nine-month spell in charge of La Albiceleste come to an end in April, having guided them to three wins from eight games. "The coaching of the UAE National Team is a new challenge and I hope to succeed in this mission,” he said at his unveiling.

His first game in charge of UAE will be against Group B’s bottom side Thailand on 13 June.