x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Hungary humble UAE

The UAE's hopes of staying on in Alexandria for their second round game were dashed by a clinical Hungarian side.

The UAE, in white, could find no way past the Hungarian defence.
The UAE, in white, could find no way past the Hungarian defence.

The UAE's hopes of staying on in Alexandria for their second round game were dashed on Saturday night by a clinical Hungarian side, who booked their own ticket to the second round with a 2-0 triumph. First-half goals from Krisztian Nemeth and Vladimir Koman secured the top spot in Group F for the young Magyars, a position that looked a remote possibility after their 3-0 defeat by Honduras in the opening game. However, they bounced back with a 4-0 drubbing of South Africa and then humbled UAE for their first entry into the round of 16 at the tournament in five appearances. The UAE finished second in the group and will meet Venezuela in Suez on Wednesday night for a place in the quarter-finals. South Africa also qualified for the second round as one of the four best third-placed teams in the six groups following their 2-0 win over Honduras. The gremlins were back for the Whites after a commanding performance against Honduras in the second game. They created a number of opportunities, but were woefully off-target. The first came as early as the second minute, but Amer Abdulrahman's volley sailed harmlessly past the woodwork. Ten minutes later, Ahmed Khalil smashed a free-kick straight into the Hungarian goalkeeper's hands. The costliest miss, however, came in the 19th minute when Ali Mabkhoot failed to take a shot after being set-up by Khalil. The ball was cleared from his feet and a swift counter-attack followed. The Liverpool-based Nemeth outpaced Saad Surour for the ball and placed it calmly across the hapless UAE keeper Yousuf Abdulrahman into the far corner. Three minutes later, skipper Koman, who plays for Bari in Italy, took advantage of a weak clearance and curved the ball into the net. The UAE game fell apart after those two goals. The passing turned awry and there were no real opportunities as the Hungarians put all their resources in defence.

arizvi@thenational.ae