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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Header from Habib Fardan seals deal for UAE in friendly against Georgia

Mahdi Ali's men back to winning ways with 1-0 victory over physically superior Georgia, writes Amith Passela.
UAE's Habib Al Fardan has played a crucial part in UAE football wins. Kham / Reuters
UAE's Habib Al Fardan has played a crucial part in UAE football wins. Kham / Reuters

UAE 1 Fardan 74’

Georgia 0

Man of the match Habib Fardan (UAE)

Habib Fardan’s second-half goal was enough for the UAE to return from their two-week camp in Switzerland with a victory over Georgia.

The Al Nasr midfielder, who has a formal offer from Al Jazira, rose above the Georgia defence to head home Omar Abdulrahman’s free kick, in the 1-0 result for the UAE on Tuesday.

The win was a confidence booster for Mahdi Ali’s men after they lost a 20-match unbeaten run when going down to Armenia 4-3 last week in the first of two friendlies.

Georgia used their superior speed and physical strength but the UAE bided their time before responding with their technical skills and superb passing game to return as the better team.

They could have added another goal or two if not for Giorgi Loria, the Georgia goalkeeper, who made two excellent saves to deny Abdulrahman and the substitute Majed Hassan from adding to the score.

Ismail Al Hammadi was wide with an early effort from just outside the box, which was, perhaps, the closest any team came to scoring in a scrappy first half.

Georgia enjoyed a major share of the possession in that period yet could not find a foothold in the game. They knocked the ball around but hardly created scoring opportunities against a well-drilled UAE defence.

They came out on the attack on resumption and were unlucky when Alexander Kobakhidze’s effort hit the post in the first minute. Ali Kasheif, the UAE keeper, then did well to clear the ball from Irakli Dzaria’s feet inside the six-yard box.

After keeping a marauding Georgia at bay, the UAE gradually took control with solid possession and creative play.

apassela@thenational.ae

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