UAE down Thailand in friendly as Kuwait and India post wins


Players of the UAE celebrate after their win over Thailand in the international friendly match at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. WAM

Harib Abdullah and Abdul Salam Mohammed were on target as the UAE defeated Thailand 2-0 in their international friendly match at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

This was their second match after they played with Tajikistan as part of their preparation in a training camp during the international break.

The training camp is a part of the preparation for the 2023 Asian Cup and the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. The start of the match was equal from both sides, as they exchanged control of the course, without any team being able to reach the net of the other, so that the first session ended in a goalless draw.

After returning from the break, UAE intensified their attack and sought to reach the net of Thailand. Hareb Abdullah succeeded in scoring the first goal in the 54th minute, and Abdul Salam Muhammad added the second goal in the 78th minute.

The technical staff was keen to provide the opportunity to participate for the largest number of players, as the match witnessed six changes in the starting line-up from the previous match against Tajikistan.

This provided the opportunity to the number of young players, who put up a very good show. The starting line-up included Khaled Issa, Abdullah Al-Karbi, Khalifa Al-Hammadi, Abdul-Salam Muhammad, Abdullah Idris, Bilal Youssef, Abdullah Ramadan, Tahnoon Al-Zaabi, Hareb Abdullah, Fabio Lima, Ahmed Amer.

The technical staff made substitutions in the second half, which prompted the entry of Majid Rashid, Abdullah Anwar, Abdulaziz Heikal and Khaled Al-Balushi, and the exit of Bilal Youssef, Ahmed Amer and Abdullah Al-Karbi, who fought Abdullah.

Kuwait pip Tajikistan: Tareq Ali and Al Khaldi steered Kuwait to a 2-1 win over 10-man Tajikistan.

Kuwait had a bright start with Ali opening their account in the ninth minute.

Khaldi then doubled Kuwait’s advantage just after the hour-mark before Alisher Dzhalilov scored a consolation in the 90th minute before picking up a red card.

India claim Tri-Nation crown: The Indian team played inspiring football against the higher-ranked Kyrgyzstan to snatch a 2-0 victory and bag the Tri-national international tournament trophy with an all-win record and without conceding a goal, in front of around 30,000 crowd at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Tuesday.

With the tournament played during the FIFA window between March 22 and 28, Croatian coach Igor Stimac and his wards made the best out of it by winning both matches in the competition.

The Sunil Chhetri-led side began their campaign with a 1-0 win over Myanmar and a rather emphatic scoreline against Kyrgyzstan put them in the enviable position of finishing the tournament with six points from two encounters.

Against Kyrgyzstan, the opening goal came from a rather unexpected quarter — centre-back Sandesh Jhingan found the target in the 34th minute. As Brandon Fernandes put the ball in style in front of the rival goalmouth off a free-kick, Jhingan pounced on it like a panther to find the back of the net.

If the Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper Tokotaev Erzhan had an inkling that the tall Indian defender would go for a header, then he was terribly wrong as Jhingan waited for the ball to land and then swung it with a deft touch to give India the lead. It wasn’t for nothing that the crowd turned the merriment into a rather wild one that lasted for a few minutes.

Indian coach Stimac, on the eve of the match, spoke about going for all-out attacks even though a draw would have been enough to keep the trophy home. He certainly kept his word as India launched a series of raids on the opposition goal whenever they had the opportunity.

One such attack in the 84th minute saw the Kyrgyzstan defence crumble under pressure as Naorem Mahesh Singh was brought down inside the penalty box by Davydov Nikolai.


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