UAE's win against Laos eases a few nerves

UAEs win against Laos eases a few nerves
The UAE's Omar Abdulrahman celebrates with his teammates after scoring the third goal against Laos on Tuesday. - UAE FA

By James Jose

Published: Tue 11 Sep 2018, 9:55 PM

Last updated: Tue 11 Sep 2018, 11:58 PM

The smiles were back. After the despondency following the shock defeat to Trinidad and Tobago and murmurs of coach Alberto Zaccheroni being replaced, the UAE turned it on to come away with a victory in an international football friendly on Tuesday.
Sure, it came against a lowly Laos side, ranked 101 placed below the UAE's 77, but the 3-0 victory at the Estadio Palamos Costa Brava Stadium in Girona, Spain, went some way in easing the nerves following a run of poor results stretching back to January this year.
It was the UAE's first win since they beat Iraq 4-2 on penalties in the 23rd Gulf Cup semifinal in Kuwait in January. Since then, they lost to Oman in the final, suffered defeats in both their matches in the King's Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, to Slovakia and Gabon in March and drew with Andorra during the camp in Salzburg, Austria.
Zaccheroni had had a meager return of just three wins from 11 as well as a run of five matches without a win, since he took over from Edgardo Bauza last October. But that changed with Ali Mabkhout firing a brace and Omar Abdulrahman scoring a screamer on the day.
The margin was still someway short of the 4-0 victory they had earned in a friendly in June last year. Their only other meeting previously had ended with a 2-0 win for the UAE in October 2013.
The UAE showed a lot more purpose and intent and it was a better showing than the one against Trinidad and Tobago last week, which they had lost 2-0, at the same venue.
Omar provided both of the assists for Mabkhout and then helped himself to one with a fine long ranger.
The UAE return home on Wednesday and will have their third camp in Barcelona, also in Spain, from October 6 to 16 with two friendlies against Honduras and Venezuela on October 11 and 16 respectively, as they prepare for the AFC Asian Cup next January.

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