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UAE need to tighten up their leaky backline

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on November 17, 2020
The UAE’s Bandar Al Ahbabi (left) vies for the ball with a Bahrain player during their friendly match on Monday. — Supplied photo

The UAE conceded two late goals in a 1-3 defeat to Bahrain in their third international football friendly in Dubai on Monday night.

UAE coach Jorge Luis Pinto and his staff have their task cut out in addressing a leaky defence ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers restart after The Whites succumbed to their second defeat in three fixtures.

The UAE, who had shown steely resolve in edging a win over Tajikistan last week, Pinto’s first win in charge, conceded two late goals in a 1-3 defeat to Bahrain in their third international football friendly in Dubai on Monday night.

After Caio Canedo had given the hosts the lead on 33 minutes, Bahrain cancelled that out through Mohamed Marhoon’s well-struck penalty on 75 minutes. A stalemate seemed the likely result but Mohamed Al Rumaihi provided a twist to the plot with a brace in the closing stages.

The 30-year-old striker, who plays for Manama Club, scored on 82 and 86 minutes as The Pearl Divers returned with a convincing victory.

The UAE had gone down to Uzbekistan 2-1 in a friendly last month, to begin the Colombian coach’s tenure.

The UAE, who currently sit fourth in Group G, will resume their qualifying campaign in March next year.

Elsewhere, in Dubai, Jordan beat Syria by a solitary goal. The Syrians had beaten Uzbekistan 1-0 last Thursday, while Lebanon had lost to Bahrain 1-3 on the same night.

Syria, Lebanon and Tajikistan had arrived in the UAE on November 4 to hold their camps and play friendlies as part of their preparations for the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

james@khaleejtimes.com





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