x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE 'rediscover' game to stun champions Brazil

Marcelo Mendes, the UAE beach soccer national team coach, salutes his side after a stunning win over the world champions in Rio.

Marcelo Mendes, the UAE beach soccer national team coach, saluted his side after a stunning 2-1 win over the world champions Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. The UAE team, in Brazil for a 14-day training camp to prepare for November's World Cup in Dubai, bounced back after being a goal down to stun the world's No 1 team. The UAE's good prospect, Adel Ali, put his team level from a penalty in the third period and captain Bakhit Saad struck minutes later to seal the win in the first of two friendly matches against Brazil.

"We rediscovered how to play beach soccer," said Mendes, who was disappointed with the two defeats last week against Brazilian club sides in a local tournament. "Our defence did not make a single mistake and the players played with their hearts. "After the frustrating losses in Búzios, I brought the team together to help them understand the level of concentration needed to play against the big teams such as Brazil.

"The players listened and I am thrilled with the result. I only used one new player in this match, Adel Ali, and he has shown me not only his beach soccer skills, but also his ability to learn and develop. "The second of the two friendly matches will be different. "All of our new players will get the opportunity to play against Brazil," Mendes said arizvi@thenational.ae