x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE's young footballers are leading by example

The UAE beat Qatar 1-0 last night to win the Al Jazira Youth International Cup despite having two players sent off.

Abdullah Salem, left, of the UAE is on the run as three Qatar players give chase at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Abdullah Salem, left, of the UAE is on the run as three Qatar players give chase at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // The UAE beat Qatar 1-0 last night to win the Al Jazira Youth International Cup despite having two players sent off.

Abdulrahman Khamis was dismissed for a second booking in the 68 minute and Fahad Obaid for retaliation against Ahmed Mohammadi in the opening minute of the four minutes of added time.

But Mohammed Obaid's first-half goal ensured victory for the national side at the Mohammed bin Zayed stadium.

Mohammed Obaid, unmarked on the far post, headed home a 30th-minute corner and they were able to defend their lead until the final whistle. It was the second time the UAE have beaten Qatar in the competition after their 2-1 win in the group stage.

"I am very happy of the performance and very happy of the result," said Eid Baroot, the UAE coach. "This kind of tournament provides us a lot of experience while playing against different countries, different schools, different situations and different tactics.

"We didn't have the best of starts because most of my players had to return for this tournament after the school exams. But they improved after every game and at the end proved they were the best team in the competition.

"I am not after results in such competitions but the experience. The most important thing is to learn from every game. The boys need to go through such experience, particularly the situations in the last two matches.

"Valencia were reduced to nine players when we played them in the semi-final and we were in that situation against Qatar tonight. The boys should learn from this type of situations."

Qatar were the more attacking side in the first quarter and they were denied a goal early in when Abdulmajeed al Deiri's superb header towards the far post was pushed out by Ahmed Shembiyeh, the UAE goalkeeper.

Once the UAE settled down they looked the better side. They created several chances and could have made the game to safe had Waleed Ismail been on target from in front of an open goal, but his effort was wide.

Tini Ruiz, the Qatar coach, was gracious in defeat. The Dutchman said: "Our team was a little bit nervous. They were playing their first final. I saw four-five players not playing to their potential.

"The UAE goalkeeper made at least three good stops. He was outstanding. And the goal we conceded was from a defensive mistake. They scored off a corner and we didn't have the player who came up for it marked.

"But we are still happy to finish second in a strong tournament. The UAE are a very experience side. They know how to win and they know how to play for time. When they were down to 10, and later nine players, they kept the same organisation. Their coach took out a forward and brought in a defender to play 4-4-1, and even with that formation they started to attack. We couldn't create much, maybe two or three chances, but the UAE were the better team. We will continue to prepare for the Asian Cup with a summer camp in Holland.

"There is also a new enthusiasm from the country's youth to play in the 2022 World Cup when Qatar will host it. It is a long time from now but there may be a few players from this team, and the younger age group, with ambitions of playing for Qatar in the World Cup."

Valencia won the third-place play-off with a 3-0 win over Al Jazira. Jose Luis Gaya, the Spain Under 19 international, opened the scoring. Juan Ramon Garcia and Fredrico Nicolas were also on target.

apassela@thenational.ae