UAEFA president, coach proud of the team despite loss to Australia

Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Rodolfo Arruabarrena say now is the time to build for the future

By Team KT

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UAE coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena. — Reuters
UAE coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena. — Reuters

Published: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 11:52 PM

In the end, it was not to be. A valiant UAE went down fighting to Australia, with the 2-1 verdict extending the country’s wait of making a second World Cup appearance.

And as the dust settled at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, UAE coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said that he was proud of his boys and added that it was important to bounce back from such a heartbreaking defeat in the playoff and look ahead to the future.

“The boys gave everything,” said Arruabarrena.

“They showed great professionalism during the past two weeks within the training camp and in the match tonight (Tuesday),” he added.

The Argentine, who took charge from Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, said that his team played at a good level but pointed out that they perhaps lacked stamina in the final 15 minutes.

“We had a good level for 75 minutes. All of the players were focused and, in general, the team played a good match. We were trying to find the weaknesses of Australia. Unfortunately, the result isn’t what we wanted. It is a blow, but we have to pick ourselves up and keep going. We had our moments and Australia had theirs. We dropped a little bit physically and in stamina in the last 15 minutes and started to lose balls that we weren’t losing before,” said the former Al Wasl and Shabab Al Ahli coach.

The former Boca Juniors manager said that they have a good core of players and added that plans should be laid out for the next qualification.

“This is the end of a chapter and we have to think about the future. We have a lot of young players and we need to keep improving and working hard,” said the 46-year-old.

Arruabarrena wasnt unduly worried about the criticism after he was unable to guide the team past Australia.

“I’m the coach and I am accustomed to that, when the results don’t happen, there is criticism. That is the life of any coach anywhere in the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, president of the UAE Football Association, too praised the team and the coaching staff.

“The team worked hard in order to achieve our goal of qualification for the World Cup. But it was not to be. I’m pleased with the hard work and the commitment shown by the team and the coaching staff. I would also like to thank the fans for standing by the team,” Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi said.

Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi said now was the time to look ahead and believed that the future will be better. “The players came up with a good performance against Australia. The future will be better. We will strive hard to achieve our goals and fulfil the dream of our fans, in the future,” he said.

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