UAE footballers going strong
The UAE Olympic national team started their Austrian tour on a very high note following their splendid 1-0 victory over Romania’s Premier League runners-up Vasuli at the Matri Stadium on Thursday night.
Bani Yas forward Ahmed Ali fired home the all-important goal after 44 minutes into the first half of the fast-paced clash.
UAE goalkeeper Khaled Essa made some courageous saves to block the dangerous moves of the Romanians to secure an early advantage. Towards the 40th minute of the first half, Hamdan Al Kamali retaliated with a long range shot, but his effort passed few inches above the crossbar. Four minutes later, Al Ain’s playmaker advanced from the centre of the pitch and passed to Ahmed Ali who tackled the libero and beat the keeper in great style to put the UAE ahead. This was also the result at half-time.
The situation changed after the break and the tempo of the game increased remarkably. Both teams exchanged attacks without much success upfront.
The Hamdan Al Kamali-led UAE defense line played a big game and brilliantly blocked the relentless attempts of the Europeans to level the result.
Ali Mabkhout was only unlucky when the talented spearhead made everything and sent a lovely shot which went few inches from the left pole.
UAE will take on Gabon on Sunday in the second test during the current training camp in Austria. The Olympic team played two games in Switzerland against FC Sion which they won 1-0 followed by another friendly against Ukrainian side Shakhtar where they were beaten 2-4.
UAE squad: Keeper Khaled Essa (Dawood Sulieman), defenders Hamdan Al Kamali, Saad Suroor (Mohammed Ahmed), Abdul Aziz Sanqoor (Mohammed Jaber), Saud Saeed, midfielders Amer Abdul Rahman (Habib Fardan), Khamis Ismail (Mohammed Fawzi), Rashid Essa, Omer Abdul Rahman, strikers Ismail Matar (Ali Mabkhout) and Ahmed Ali (Ismail Al Hammadi).