Abu Dhabi: UAE rallied from a goal down to settle for a 1-1 draw with Honduras in a friendly in Barcelona on Thursday night. Romell Quioto scored for Honduras while the Omar Abdul Rahman drew level for UAE. At half-time both teams were locked 1-1.
This was first of two friendlies lined up during their Spanish camp from October 6-16.
With less than three months left before the Asian Cup on home soil, UAE manager Alberto Zaccheroni’s side is aiming to fine tune things and build a strong side for their challenge in Group A that includes Bahrain, India and Thailand.
As expected, Zaccheroni provided veteran striker Ismail Matar opportunity to get back into the national team set-up by including him in the start line.
Matar, had not played for the national team in over a year, but was included in the camp to boost their forward-line comprising of strikers Ali Mabkhout and Ahmad Khalil. The 35-year-old, Al Wahda striker, was there on the field for the entire 90 minutes.
Romell Quioto put Honduras in the lead in the 18th minute. His right footed effort from close range settling into the top right corner.
UAE’s ace medio Omar Abdul Rahman kept his team in the match by drawing level in the 34th minute. Omar also scoring from close into the centre of the goal.
UAE will have another opportunity to improve on this performance when they take on Venezuela at the same Olympic Stadium venue in Barcelona on Sunday. Venezuela are ranked 45 positions above the UAE, making it even harder.
This is the third of five camps in the build-up to the Asian Cup after a tour of Salzburg, Austria, from August 1-19 and Girona, Spain from September 1-12. UAE also be two domestic camps from November 6-20 and December 15-31, with subsequent friendlies to be announced during those dates.
UAE had earlier suffered a 2-0 friendly defeat to Trinidad and Tobago in Girona early last month but later bounced back to beat Laos ranked 101 positions below them.