Sport | Football

UAE stint was unimpressive

He spent two years coaching national team

  • By Yasir Abbasher, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 May 1, 2012
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Roy Hodgson was appointed the senior coach of the UAE national team on December 17, 2002, following the squad's failure to reach the finals of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

The UAE started the qualifying campaign led by Frenchman Henry Michel, but he was fired because of poor results and replaced firstly by Abdullah Saqr and then his Dutch assistant Tini Ruijs.

Hodgson led the UAE in 16 matches — 10 continental and regional obligations and six friendly matches.

Team results

His overall outcome in the 16 matches was four victories, six draws and six defeats, which is not a record to be proud of. However, Hodgson said in an interview last year that he had done a good job in the UAE.

Hodgson started his career here by leading the UAE in a friendly against Egypt, which they lost 2-1, before they also lost another friendly against Bahrain 3-1.

The next four friendlies under his guidance were all ties — 1-1 with Norway (their Olympic Team), 2-2 with both Uzbekistan and Kenya, and 3-3 with Azerbaijan.

In the qualifiers for the 2004 Asian Cup in China, the UAE ended second behind Turkmenistan after losing to them by a single goal away and drawing with them 1-1 at home. But the UAE beat Syria 3-1 home and away to reach the finals.

In the 16th Gulf Cup in Kuwait, the UAE finished fifth after losing to Saudi Arabia 2-0, Bahrain 3-1 and to Oman 2-0, as well as beating Kuwait 2-0 and Yemen 3-0 and drawing with Qatar 0-0.

Hodgson was sacked upon returning from Kuwait.

Gulf News
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