x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Positive start for UAE

The UAE's Under 20 team continues to impress in their build-up for Fifa Youth Cup, getting the better of Egypt in the Toulon tournament in France.

The UAE's Under 20 team continued to impress in their build-up for Fifa Youth Cup, getting the better of Egypt, the hosts of September's competition, in the 37th Toulon tournament in France. Mohammed Abdulla's 32nd- minute, 35-yard strike was enough for the UAE to emerge as 1-0 winners in the opening Group B match on Wednesday. And tonight they face Holland, who were thrashed 4-0 by Argentina.

"It was indeed a good performance," said the team administrator Mohammed Obaid. "We had to overcome some early forays from Egypt but we defended well. And defended well throughout the game. "And once we got over the difficult period, our players settled in well and scored a wonderful goal. "Obviously winning is a good habit, but we are not looking for results in these games. We have a squad of 24 players and we want to give everyone an opportunity to play. This is the whole idea of this competition for us."

Should the UAE beat the Dutch they will progress to the semi- finals and although Holland were well beaten by Argentina, Obaid added: "We can't judge the teams from one match. It was a close match and the score doesn't relate the actual story. Holland will be a good test for our boys. We don't get many opportunities to play against European teams." Qatar, Chile, Portugal and the hosts France are in the tournament's other group.

apassela@thenational.ae