Dubai: The UAE wrapped up their third international training camp in as many months with a 2-0 defeat to Venezuela in a friendly in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Luis Enrique del Pino opened Venezuela’s account inside the first minute. Omar Abdul Rahman then missed a chance to equalise from the spot five minutes before the break, before Andres Ponce made it two just after the interval.
Coach Alberto Zaccheroni has now lost six of his total 14 games in charge of the UAE last October, with only one win from the last eight.
Venezuela was an expected defeat given that the South Americans were ranked 45 positions above World No 77-ranked UAE heading into this game.
The Whites will now continue preparations ahead of their hosting of the Asian Cup from January 5 to February 1 next year, with two internal camps planned for November 6-20 and December 15-31.
Earlier camps in Salzburg, Austria and Girona, Spain over the past two months saw Zaccheroni’s side draw with Andorra 0-0, lose to Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 and beat Laos 3-0.
They started this latest external camp in Barcelona with a 1-1 draw against Honduras on Thursday.
The UAE finished third in the last Asian Cup in Australia four years ago. The next tournament early next year will be their second Asian Cup they will be hosting having last finished runners-up to Saudi Arabia on UAE soil in 1996. Defending champions Australia and Japan, Saudi and Iran, all on three wins, will be favourites along with last edition’s runners-up South Korea.