04 February 2013

North Korea edge UAE in a friendly

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 the break.
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

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