x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE Olympic football side impress in warm-up win in Switzerland

Ismail Al Hammadi, one of the main contenders for the three overage players in the squad, struck the winner, against FC Sion.

The UAE's national team is in Switzerland training for Olympics.
The UAE's national team is in Switzerland training for Olympics.

Ismail Al Hammadi struck the lone goal as the UAE Olympic team defeated Swiss outfit FC Sion on Thursday, as they prepare for the London Games.

Al Hammadi, one of the main contenders for the three spots for overage players in the squad, struck the winner in the 35th minute of the game played near the Swiss resort town of Montana, blasting home after an Ahmed Khalil attempt bounced off a defender into his path.

Drawn in the same group as hosts Great Britain, Senegal and Uruguay for the London Games, the UAE have been preparing for their Olympics debut in Switzerland since June 17. The match against Sion, who were led by the former Italy international Gennaro Gattuso, was their first game.

More than 1,600 fans were in attendance at the St Germain stadium and they left impressed by the Emiratis, particularly Al Ain's Omar Abdulrahman. Mahdi Ali's men were in control throughout the first half against the Swiss Super League side and created a number of opportunities before Al Hammadi found the net.

In the second period, the Swiss improved, but the UAE defence, led by Hamdan Al Kamali and Mohammed Ahmed, denied them.

The UAE's next warm-up game is on July 1 against Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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