The UAE's hopes of success at the World Ice Hockey Championship took a significant blow yesterday after losing their opening match to North Korea.
The Emirates team were aiming to advance to world ice hockey's Division IIb group from their current place in division three, but crashed to a 5-3 defeat by North Korea in Cape Town.
Kim Chol Hyok opened the scoring for Korea inside the first 150 seconds, before they extended their lead six minutes later with a goal from Hong Chun Rim.
The North Koreans made it 3-0 with a second from Hong, before an instant reply by Salem Al Romaithi for the UAE to get a goal back.
Omar Al Shamisi brought the score to 3-2 early into the second period, before Ri Pong Il re-established a two-goal advantage for the North Koreans.
Kim Hyok Ju made it 5-2 with less than four minutes to go, before the UAE scored on the klaxon, Al Shamisi turning provider for Saeed Al Nuaimi.
The UAE will face Greece later today, who they beat 20 last autumn to qualify for the competition in South Africa.
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