x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE suffer Greek tragedy with second defeat at ice hockey world championships

The UAE let a 2-0 lead slip through their gloves in Cape Town to suffer a 4-3 defeat by Greece which puts their hopes of reaching world ice hockey's next tier in serious doubt.

UAE ice hockey national team coach Yuri Faikov.
UAE ice hockey national team coach Yuri Faikov.

The UAE has slumped to a second successive defeat at the World Ice Hockey Championships, putting in doubt hopes of progressing to the next tier of the sport.

Yuri Faikov's side followed up their 5-3 loss to North Korea on Monday with a 4-3 loss to Greece last night, despite having lead 2-1 at the end of the first period.

The UAE had beaten Greece last autumn during the qualification for the World Championship Division III competition in Cape Town, but Igor Apostolidis' side avenged their loss with a comeback victory.

Ali Al Mazrouei had opened the scoring for the Emirates side, benefiting from Juma Al Dhaheri's play to slot home. Five minutes into the first period they were 2-0 up, with Al Dhaheri the scorer.

Within a minute, however, the Greeks had halved the deficit, however, Panagiotis Koukouris the scorer after linking up with Nikolaos Papadopoulos.

And a second period collapse by the UAE put Greece firmly in control. Papadopoulos turned provider for Georgios Kalyvas to level the scores, before Ioannis Koufis put the Greeks in front for the first time in the game with just over half an hour placed.

Koulouris made it 4-2 in the dying moments of the period, benefiting from Dimitrios Kalyvas' work to close out time with a comfortable lead.

Mohammed Al Shamisi pulled one back for the UAE half way into the third period, but they could not break down the Greek resilience.

The UAE team now have a day off to prepare for their match against the hosts South Africa at the Grandwest Arena on Thursday.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE