Doha: The UAE topped Group C of the 2013 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup AFC qualifiers with a 6-3 opening win over Saudi Arabia in Doha on Tuesday.
Having missed out on qualification to the last World Cup, the UAE wanted to avoid a repeat and this win is an early step towards ensuring that.
The 2007 and 2008 Asian Champions found it difficult to break the Saudi resistance during the opening minutes. But, when they finally did, thanks to Rami, Lima’s Saudi Arabia immediately equalised.
Despite their limited international experience, Saudi Arabia played well, proving wrong whoever might have thought that the opener would be smooth sailing for Marcelo Mendes’ UAE.
After Rami unbalanced things one minute before the first break, the picture changed. Saudi Arabia’s forces began lagging and the Emiratis took advantage.
Ali Karim and Kamal widened the gap in the second period, giving the UAE the control of the score, and the game.
Saudi Arabia were unable to find any way to counteract Mendes’ dominant side, instead, Ali Karim kept piling on the misery.
Despite Mohammad Bashaweeh and Hamad managing to fire home two free kicks for the Saudis, things were already too lopsided. The final whistle, then, had UAE on top of the table in Group C, a position they will need to maintain if they wish to make it to the semi-finals of these Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 — AFC Qualifiers.