Published on Friday, 06 September 2013 15:18
Riyadh: The UAE let slip a three-goal lead but ultimately prevailed on penalties as they defeated Trinidad & Tobago 7-6 in the shootout in the four-team OSN Cup friendly tournament on Thursday.
UAE captain and keeper Ali Khaseif was the hero for his side with the Al Jazira shot-stopper saving Carlyle Mitchell’s sudden death spot-kick.
The UAE looked in complete control of the match having gone 3-0 up by the 54th minute with Habib Al Fardan (9th) and Al Ahmed Mabhout (37th) giving the Gulf side a two-goal cushion going into the interval before Ahmed Khalil netted the third ten minutes into the second half.
But Trinidad & Tobago rallied and pulled one back two minutes later through striker Willis Plaza, who plays his club football in Vietnam with Song Lam Nghe An, before a Kenwyne Jones penalty three minutes from time further reduced the deficit.
Midfielder Kevin Molino equalised in the 90th minute to force the match into extra-time and with neither side able to add to their tally penalties ensued.
“We had the game under control and the substitutions didn’t work as I would have wished,” UAE coach told reporters after his team emerged victories from the shootout.
“The players were returning from a long break and I would reckon they would combine better for the next game.
“I think we still did well to hold our nerve and win, which was important.”
The UAE will meet New Zealand in the final of the OSN Cup on Monday after the Kiwis edged the UAE’s fellow AFC Asian Cup 2015 qualifying hopefuls Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Thursday’s other match at the King Fahd Stadium.
Both Gulf sides are using the four-team tournament as part of their preparations for Matchday 3 of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, which takes place on October 15 when the UAE are away to Hong Kong and three time continental champions Saudi Arabia face 2007 champions Iraq in Amman.