x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE lose to USA at Beach Soccer World Cup

Their 6-4 defeat means the Emirates return from Tahiti after a winless tournament, reports Ali Khaled.

UAE, in white, finish bottom of the group after a 6-4 defeat to the USA on Tuesday. Shaun Botterill / Fifa via Getty Images
UAE, in white, finish bottom of the group after a 6-4 defeat to the USA on Tuesday. Shaun Botterill / Fifa via Getty Images

The UAE’s 2013 Beach Soccer World Cup campaign ended in disappointment on Tuesday as they went down 6-4 to the USA in the Group A dead rubber in Papeete.

Played in the rain and in front of small crowd, the match inevitably had a sense of anticlimax despite the 10 goals and some exciting action.

The UAE took the lead straight from the kickoff, Hasan Ali scoring with a shot from the half way line. Within minutes, Nicolas Perera, who scored twice in the last match against Tahiti, equalised for the USA.

Mohamed Al Jasmi, the UAE keeper, was once again in top form, denying the Americans with string of excellent saves, but he could nothing to stop Alessandro Canale from scoring with five minutes of the first period left.

Seconds later, UAE star striker Ali Karim finally broke his duck in the competition to make the core 2-2 at the first interval.

Tow goals by Perera and Canale in the first five minutes of the second period gave the USA a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the match.

The UAE reserve goalkeeper Abbas Hussain then replaced the overworked Al Jasmi for his first taste of action in the tournament. Karim, far more involved than in previous matches, had several chances to decrease the deficit but there would be no more addition to the scoreline in the second period.

Perera completed his hat-trick at the start of the final period to give the USA a comfortable 5-2 lead and the UAE looked to be departing the competition with a whimper. However, Hasan Ali pulled one back to raise hopes of a comeback.

After 30 minutes, Hussain then emulated Al Jasmi by scoring with a sensational volley from inside his own area to set up an exciting finish to the match. The UAE couldn’t add to their tally, and Jason Leopoldo wrapped up a 6-4 scoreline for the Stars and Stripes with the best goal of the match, a sideway scissors kick from his goalkeepers long clearance.

The result means that the USA finished third in Group A behind Spain and Tahiti, while the UAE, who lost all three matches, finished bottom.

akhaled@thenational.ae