Brave UAE go down fighting

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Brave UAE go down fighting

Uruguay claimed crucial full points with a narrow 2-1 win over UAE in the London Olympics football Group A game at the Old Trafford here on Thursday night.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Sat 28 Jul 2012, 1:07 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

The two opponents played out a 1-1 draw in the first half. Ismail Matar scored for UAE while Gaston Ramirez netted the equaliser before substitute Nicolas Lodeiro fired home the winner after the interval.

Matar missed the first genuine scoring opportunity in the sixth minute of the first half, after a poor clearance from Uruguayan defender German Rolin.

Less than a minute later, Rolin was cautioned when he brought down Ahmed Khalil to block a fast counter attack from the centre of the field.

The New Zealand referee turned a blind eye to what could have been a correct penalty kick in the 10th minute.

Omer Abdul Rahman led a lovely move and tackled three defenders before he was fouled inside the box.

However, the die-hard football fans who packed the venue since early afternoon were unhappy with the referee’s decision and showed sympathy to the UAE player’s penalty claim.

But, the Uruguayans were threatening in the few attacks they had and underlined their superiority in the airborne engagements.

Towards the 23rd minute, Hamdan Al Kamali intercepted a long ball ahead of the UAE box and passed to Omer Abdul Rahman, who reacted very quickly with a lovely spoon-fed pass to the ice-cool Matar, who put the UAE in the lead in grand style. Ahmed Khalil was about to double the score-line two minutes later, but his move was courageously blocked by the keeper, who made another good save of Rashed Eisa’s shot at the half hour mark.

With three minutes remaining from the first half, the Latin Americans fought back and Gaston Ramirez levelled the score with perfect execution of a free kick from the mouth of the box.

At the beginning of the second half, the Uruguayan coach Oscar Tabarez made his first substitution by sending in Nicolas Lodeiro to replace Matias Aguirregaray.

Uruguay were in command in the first 10 minutes after the break and shifted all their operations upfront.

UAE keeper felt the pressure of relentless attacks from Uruguay. The unnecessary mistakes resulted in the second goal, scored by substitute Nicolas Lodeiro in the 56th minute.

At this stage, UAE coach Mahdi Ali pulled out the goal scorer Matar and sent in Ismail Al Hammadi to supplement the attacking force, but without much improvement. The UAE players have apparently ran out of gas by then.

Tabarez carried out his second replacement in the 69th minute by sending in Diego Rodriguez to substitute Maximiliano Clazada.

Ali made another substitution through Ahmed Ali, replacing Rashid Eisa.

The other scoring opportunity UAE created in the second half came in the 78th minute.

Omer Abdul Rahman sent a well placed pass to Ahmed Khalil, who missed out less than three yards from the empty yard.

The final substitution for Uruguay was Jonathan Urretaviscaya, replacing their injured forward Gaston Ramirez.


  • UAE

Keeper Ali Khusaif, Hamdan Al Kamali, Mohammed Ahmed, Abdul Aziz Haikal, Abdul Aziz Sanqoor, Amer Abdul Rahman, Omer Abdul Rahman, Rashed Eisa, Khamis Ismail, Ismail Matar (Captain), Ahmed Khalil.

  • Uruguay

Keeper Martin Campana, Ramon Arias, Sebastian Coates, Emiliano Albin, German Rolin, Edinson Cavani, Maximiliano Calzada, Luis Suarez (Captain), Gaston Ramirez, Matias Aguirregaray, Egidio Arevalo.

Referee: Peter O’Leary (NZL), Assistant Referee (1): Jan Hendrik Hintz (NZL), Assistant Referee (2): Ravinesh Kumar (FIJ).

Match Commissioner: Gabriel Ameyi (TOG).

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