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Time for us to shine.

A vaguely familiar assessment “Ventoux’s UAE have high tactical discipline…managerial ideas are clear”

Former South Korea national team coach Paulo Bento showed his colors in his first match with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national team.

On March 13, the UAE defeated Costa Rica, 4-1, in a friendly exhibition match at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Croatia. Bento, who took over the reins of the UAE two months ago, made his debut and showed his leadership skills by leading the team to a resounding victory in his first game.

The UAE’s victory was more of an upset. In the FIFA rankings, an objective measure of strength, the UAE is ranked just 72nd. Costa Rica, a perennial World Cup contender, is ranked 46th. Furthermore, the UAE hadn’t played an official match since the Arabian Gulf Cup in January, so there were organizational issues.

The prediction that the UAE would be hard to beat was proved wrong in the first half. The UAE opened the scoring just 16 minutes into the game when Al Ghassani scored with a right-footed shot from a Fabio Lima pass. Six minutes later, he doubled his tally from a cross in the opposition half.

The UAE continued to force Costa Rica into corners and made it 3-0 in the 37th minute with a long-range effort from Ali Salmin. The UAE’s onslaught had world-class goalkeeper Kyler Navas stretched thin. The UAE’s organized play left Navas unable to make a save.

Bento continued to direct the offense in the second half. The UAE responded and made it 4-0 in the eighth minute of the second half with a passing play inside the opponent’s box. It was a great pass and move that utilized a teammate in the opposition box. The UAE conceded a goal to Costa Rica in the 19th minute of the second half, but were able to hold on for the 4-1 victory 안전놀이터.

“Every time the UAE reached the penalty box, Costa Rica suffered,” said ESPN Costa Rica, “The tactical discipline of the UAE players was very high. They were very disciplined in their tactics, and it showed the clear thinking of Coach Bento.”

Like the Costa Rican media’s analysis of the defeat, the UAE were organized. Despite being outnumbered, they enjoyed a respectable 43% possession and were accurate enough to convert five of their six shot attempts, four of which were on target, demonstrating a concise and decisive approach.

It’s a familiar assessment. Bento delivered similar results in his four years at the helm of South Korea, starting in 2018. He sought to instill a style of soccer that relied on possession and build-up from the back, no matter who the opposition was, and while he was sometimes criticized for being too aggressive, he was praised for his ability to hold off the likes of Uruguay and Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar. The result was also successful as South Korea reached the round of 16 for only the second time in their history.

Bento, whose contract with South Korea expired after the World Cup, took a break before signing a three-year deal with the UAE. “I’m not coming to the UAE for a vacation, I’m coming to work. I will also have a green card,” he said. We are off to a great start and have high hopes.

South Korea, who have made a change under Jürgen Klinsmann, may also meet soon. South Korea and the UAE are familiar faces on the Asian stage. They could meet as early as next January at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar.

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