UAE trailed 0-1 to North Korea in a friendly at the Chinese city of Shenzhen on Thursday. The North Korean struck the all-important goal of the clash from the spot into the 44th minute of the first half. The Gulf champions are preparing for their 2015 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers opener against hosts Vietnam in Hanoi on Wednesday.
The UAE head coach Ali Mahdi started
with keeper Ali Khusaif, defenders Muhanad Al Enazi, Abdul Aziz Haikal, Waleed
Abbas, midfielders Mohammed Fawzi, Amir Abdul Rahman, Haboush Saleh, Habib
Fardan with Ahmed Khalil and Saeed Al Kathiri upfront.
Both sides did nothing
to show any offensive intentions and no real threat to either goalies was
witnessed throughout the first half with the exception of the penalty kick which
resulted from a handball against UAE defender Muhanad Al Enazi one minute before
Meanwhile, the UAE strikers were only unlucky to miss the target
on at least two occasions after having virtually controlled the game. Ahmed
Khalil saw his hot hitting the cross-bar and saved by the Korean defenders while
he was with the keeper only to beat.
At this stage, Mahdi Ali interfered by
sending in keeper Khalid Essa, Ismail Matar, Majid Hassan, Abdulla Mosa, Ali Al
Amri, Omer Abdul Rahman and Ismail Al Hammadi to replace keeper Ali Khusaif,
Saeed Al Kathiri, Amir Abdul Rahman, Hamdan Al Kamali, Waleed Abbasm Habib
Fardan and Haboush Saleh respectively.
The UAE lads missed the efforts of
injured players Mohammed Ahmed, Abdul Aziz Sanqoor, Khamis Ismail and Ali
Mabkhout as Mahdi opted to take any risk that could delay their recovery and
trained separately with the fitness coach.
And apart from the defeat, Mahdi
said it was a useful test for the players because they have face a well
organised side who play total football.
However, this was the second defeat
for the boys in white since Mahdi Ali took over last August. The first defeat
was 0-1 received at the hands of Japan in a friendly.
UAE FA website