ABU DHABI // The UAE warmed up for their title defence of the second Gulf Cup with a hard fought victory over Oman in last night's opening match of the five-day championship at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink.
They raced to a 4-0 lead in the first period but came up against a renewed challenge from the Omanis, who held them 1-1 in the second period. The UAE raised their game in the final period to score three unanswered goals to emerge 8-1 winners. Suhail Al Muhairy scored twice with assists from Ibrahim Bu Debs and Ali Al Mazrouie, who sealed the game by getting on the score sheet five minutes from time.
The hosts started brightly and looked like they would pile on after Al Mazrouie scored in the opening minute followed by goals from Al Muhairy, Faisal Al Baloushi and Mohammed Al Dhaheri for a 4-0 lead after nine minutes.
Oman stepped up their game in the last 10 minutes of the first period and the entire second period, more than matching their opponents, but the UAE's superior skills ultimately shone through in the end. The UAE meet Bahrain in tonight's second match, while Kuwait face Oman.
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