x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

UAE miss out in Asian U19 Championship opener

Eid Baroot left disappointed after fancied hosts are forced to settle for draw against Kuwait.

The UAE, in white, could not score the winner despite spending much of the second half in Kuwait's half at Ras Al Khaimah. Courtesy Al Ittihad
The UAE, in white, could not score the winner despite spending much of the second half in Kuwait's half at Ras Al Khaimah. Courtesy Al Ittihad

Eid Baroot, the UAE coach, was counting the cost of his side's poor finishing after Kuwait salvaged a 1-1 draw in the opening match of the Asian Football Confederation Under 19 Championship at the Emirates Club Stadium in Ras Al Khaimah tonight.

"I am very disappointed with the result, it's clearly two points lost," the Emirati said.

"We could have scored a couple of goals early on but the boys lost concentration and we paid for that lapse of focus.

"Kuwait relied on the long ball and counterattack and were successful to salvage a point.

"We must work on our finishing," he added.

Saif Rashid got the breakthrough for the UAE when he dived low to make contact a cross from Abdulrahman Yousuf and aimed a brisk header for the opening goal.

However, the hosts had to go in to the break with the scores level after Mohammed Al Fahad got through the UAE defence and tapped the ball past the charging Ahmed Sambih, the UAE goalkeeper, for the equaliser in first half added time.

Abdulrahman Al Shammari split the UAE defence with a neat dipping pass for Al Fahad to slide and chip the ball over Sambih.

The UAE were the more adventurous side but they failed to seriously test the visitor's goal.

They went on the offensive from the whistle and Yousuf Saeed's early effort sailed over the bar.

Waleed Ambar's shot after getting past a couple of Kuwaiti defenders was well saved by Khalifah Al Dhufairi, the Kuwait goalkeeper, while Saeed mistimed a brilliant set-up from Rashid in front of goal.

Despite the UAE's dominance throughout the game it was Kuwait who came closest to breaking the deadlock. Fortunately for the hosts, Al Shammari's 30-yard effort ricocheted off a post.

The UAE spent much of the second half camped in the Kuwaiti half and created numerous chances, yet lacked the clinical finish from inside the penalty area.

Ahmed Heider, the Kuwait coach, was understandably delighted to share the points.

"We are talking about football not marathons so the point won counts," he said.

"We were up against a very strong team having home advantage so we knew beforehand that we had to defend throughout.

"I am very happy with my defenders, they were fantastic throughout.

"The UAE were on fire in the beginning but we came back strong and had some chances later to seal all three points.

"I must admit it's a fair result and we are still in the competition."

Iran are the UAE's next opponent while Kuwait face Japan, both tomorrow at the Emirates Club.

apassela@thenational.ae

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