x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE U17s defeated by Spain

The UAE's hopes of reaching the second round in the FIFA Under 17 World Cup were left hanging by a thread after they went down to Spain 3-1.

The UAE's hopes of reaching the second round in the FIFA Under 17 World Cup were left hanging by a thread after they went down to Spain 3-1 in group E in Kano, Nigeria, on Sunday. Ali Ibrahim's boys face the USA on Sunday after Spain qualified from the group with two wins. The UAE must either win to earn a direct qualification or at least draw to advance to the last 16 as one of the best third placed teams from the six groups. The Spain forward Isco opened the scoring from a superb solo effort in the 12th minute and he set up the next for the right wing attack Borja seven minutes later to have the match virtually decided in the first quarter. Isco dribbled past a couple of defenders before sending a powerful right-footer crashing against the top end of the net and weaved through again to setup Borja, who had only to tap in the ball to an empty goal. Mohammed Sebil pulled one back in the 68th minute to keep the game alive. The young Al Nasr forward volleyed a neat chip from the captain Marwan al Saffar from the edge box past a bemused goalkeeper Edgar. Edgar did well to push a dipping free kick over the crossbar from Fahad Salim from 40 yards in the 76th minute as the UAE came back strongly towards the end. But Adria Camona ensured there were no further hiccups for Spain when he scored off a curling free kick from the right flank two minutes from time. Spain forced three corners in the first eight minutes and then saw a dipping cross off Borja from the left flank fall just wide for Jon Aurtenetxe at the far post. They were rewarded with a double strike for their perseverance in the first quarter. The two early blows left the UAE in disarray as Spain continued their dominance for the rest of the first half. The UAE defence looked more organized after the break and scored from a counter attack to claw back in to the game. apassela@thenational.ae