Abu Dhabi: Ali Mabkhoot scored the winning goal as the UAE got the better of northern European side Estonia in their friendly match at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium on Wednesday night.
Defender Hamdan Al Kamali put the home team in front from the spot on the half-hour mark after Saudi referee Sami Al Nimiri gave them a penalty kick following a foul inside the box by visiting skipper Alo Barengrub on debutant Esmail Ahmad.
Jarmo Ahjupera levelled the scores in the last minute of the first half, capitalising on a defensive blunder on the right flank that gave him the space to go into the box unmarked.
Mahdi Ali, the UAE head coach, brought on Omar Abdul Rahman, Ahmad Khalil and Rashid Eisa after the break to strengthen his attack and the home team dominated the match, building many dangerous and fast attacking moves. They scored their second goal through Mabkhoot, who was sent clear behind the defence by Khalil in the 69th minute.
The visitors increased their attacks in the last few minutes but Ali Khaseef, the home custodian, kept them at bay, displaying his outstanding form especially when blocking a fierce first-time volley from Dmitri Kruglov.
It was the last friendly match for the UAE at home before January’s Gulf Cup as they will start their training camp in Qatar from December 18.