x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE U20s end losing streak

The UAE under 20s football team ends its three-game run of defeats with an impressive 3-0 win over Montenegro.

The UAE, in white, ended their rubn of games without a win against Montenegro in Istanbul last night.
The UAE, in white, ended their rubn of games without a win against Montenegro in Istanbul last night.

The UAE Under 20 football team ended their three-game run of defeats with an impressive 3-0 win over Montenegro on Sunday night. Ahmed Khalil, Ali Mabkhout and Maher Jassim scored for the Whites, who are camping in Istanbul, Turkey, for the U20 World Cup, which starts from September 24 in Egypt. The win at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium brought an end to UAE's run of losses; they had been beaten by Trinidad and Tobago, Cameroon and Ivory Coast in the last three games. The UAE will play Montenegro for a second time tonight and then take on Galatasaray on September 18 before leaving for Egypt on September 14. Rashid al Zaabi, who joined the team two days ago, welcomed the result, but insists winning friendlies should not be the priority. "The main objectives of these games is to experiment," said the head of UAE Football Association's Marketing and Public Relations committee. "We should not get complacent when we win these games, or panic if we lose. "Instead, the focus should be on analysing our game, finding out the areas of weakness and working on them before leaving for Egypt. "This team is our future and their development should not stop with the continental championship or the World Cup. Our priority should be to keep them together and make sure they continue their progress." The UAE, who won the Asian title last year without losing a game, are based in Alexandria for their group games and start their campaign against South Africa on September 27. Three days later they meet Honduras before facing off against Hungary on October 3 in their final group game.

arizvi@thenational.ae