DUBAI // UAE manager Gustavo Henrique has urged his players to forget their 11-1 drubbing at the hands of South American champions Brazil in their opening match at the Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup and focus on the two must-win battles ahead.
The 10-goal defeat is the worst in the history of the Intercontinental Cup – the previous worst was the 10-3 hammering of the USA by Brazil in 2014 – but Henrique insists the margin of defeat will matter little if the UAE turn things around and win their next two matches, against Tahiti and Poland, and qualify for the semi-finals.
“If we win the next two matches, 1-0 and 10-0 will be the same,” said Henrique. “In the first match, we are always like this. But we still have two matches to play. We need to keep our chin up and think about the next game. This is one day we need to make sure we forget forever.”
Rodrigo Soares put the Brazilians ahead in the first period but Ahmed Beshr levelled less than a minute later. Bruno da Silva then restored the lead as Brazil finished the period 2-1 ahead.
The Brazilians then shifted gears in the second period, scoring five goals – two from Diogo Catarino and one each from Luiz Alberto, Fernando Luiz and Mauricio Pereira – to kill the match.
They added four more goals in the third period to complete the rout, with Catarino completing his hat-trick and Soares and Pereira getting their second of the night. Rafael Antonio also got his name on scoresheet.
“They did not want to play,” Henrique said of his players. “Most of the goals we conceded because the players were lazy. They did not fight. I am very disappointed. If you lose to Brazil, it’s OK. That’s part of sport. But if you lose because you do not fight, that’s really disappointing. So that is something the players need to think about.”
The UAE’s next match is against Tahiti, the 2015 World Cup and Intercontinental Cup runners-up, on Wednesday.
Tahiti opened their campaign with a 5-4 win over Poland and manager Angelo Schirinzi was pleased to start off with a victory considering their less than ideal preparation.
“Everybody was engaged in football, so we had no chance to train,” Schirinzi said. “I am a little bit disappointed about this because I believe the federation should help the players more. The team is ranked No7 in the world and they were runners-up at the World Cup, but still they don’t get much help. Still, I am happy for the win.
“Our next match is going to be very difficult. The UAE are a very good team, but we will prepare and try our best to get one more win.”
• Tahiti 5 Poland 4
• Brazil 11 UAE 1
• Iran v USA
• Russia v Egypt
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