Local Sports

UAE go into extra time to see off the Azzurri

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on November 6, 2019
The UAE and Italy players vie for the ball during the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup match on Wednesday. - Supplied photo

Mohamed Al Maazmi's men now take on Asian champions Japan, in a rematch of the AFC Beach Soccer Championship.

The UAE staved off the challenge from Italy to strengthen their chances of making the cut for the semifinals of the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup on Wednesday.

The Whites, eyeing a first title on home soil, were taken into extra time for the second successive day before they came away with a 6-4 result against the 2018 European champions in Group A, at the specially set-up pitch at Kite Beach.

Mohamed Al Maazmi's men now take on Asian champions Japan, in a rematch of the AFC Beach Soccer Championship.

The teams had crossed swords with Japan in Thailand in March with The Samurais prevailing on penalties, to clinch their third title.

Nothing less than a win will do for the UAE in order to make it to the last four. The Whites had finished third in 2012 and 2013.

UAE coach Al Maazmi let out a laugh about making it a habit of playing extra time as their opener against Spain had also gone into extra time and penalties.

"It was an important win for us," Al Maazmi said after the game.

"We want to play in the semifinals. Both games have been very tense for us. The first game decided in a penalty shootout and this game in extra time against another strong team. But the boys showed real character to come and win this game for us," he added.

The UAE, who had lost to the Spaniards, earned two points courtesy of the extra-time victory against the Italians.

Al Maazmi felt two was better than nothing. "We could have won the full three points against Italy tonight but still two is better than none.

"We were a bit unlucky in the first game but tonight we were the better team," he reckoned. About facing Japan, Al Maazmi said: "We play Japan and this game will be like a final for both teams.

"The momentum is with us after the second day's games, and of course, we want to go out there and win tomorrow."

Earlier, Spain edged past Japan to notch their second win in Group A. Spain, who had won on penalties against hosts UAE on the opening day, won the game 3-2.

It was a bitter pill for The Samurais as they had beaten the Italians on day one.



Group A

Spain 3 Japan 2

UAE 6 Italy 4

Group B

Russia 3 Mexico 1



Group B: Italy vs Spain             4.15 pm

Group A: Mexico vs Egypt            5.30 pm

Group A: UAE vs Japan             6.45 pm

Group B: Russia vs Iran             8 pm:








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