UAE 2 // Valencia 1
ABU DHABI // Two Valencia players were sent off as ugly scenes marred the UAE youngsters' last-gasp 2-1 semi-final victory in the Al Jazira Youth International Friendly tournament at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium last night.
With the score at 1-1, Ibrahim al Muhairi, the Emirati referee who had already sent off two Valencia players, awarded a last-minute penalty to the UAE for a handball by Jose Solano.
Television replays of the incident clearly showed the player was inside the area. Waleed Ismail, the UAE's man of the match, converted the spot kick to win the game and the final whistle saw an angry reaction from the Spanish side.
Valencia's players and officials shouted abuse at the match officials and later at the UAE team. Stadium security and Al Jazira club staff had to intervene to stop the row from escalating.
Jamal bu Hendi, the UAE team manager, was shocked at the visiting club's conduct.
"I was really surprised at the outrageous behaviour of their officials and young players," he said. "I don't want to comment any further. For us, we have won the game."
Eid Baroot, the coach, also refused to be dragged into commenting on the incident after the game.
"We have achieved our target of reaching the final," he said. "The team improved after every game. And that's because we didn't have enough time to prepare for this competition."
Earlier, in the 34th minute, Ignacio Sanchez was sent off for a deliberate handball.
He was followed nine minutes later, just before the half-time whistle, by Javier Martinez, who was red carded for a foul from behind on Ismail when the midfielder was clear on goal just outside the area.
The UAE capitalised on their numerical advantage when they opened the scoring through Faraj Hasan, a second-half substitute, who tapped home a pass from Ismail in the 64th minute.
Valencia, whose senior side were playing in their local derby against Villarreal in the Primera Liga last night, threw caution to the wind once they conceded and were rewarded with a penalty when Khamis Saeed brought down Jose Luis Gaya with a clumsy tackle.
Gaya took the kick himself to equalise six minutes from the end and the game looked set for extra time until Ismail's effort hit the outstretched hand of Solano, the Valencia defender, and gave the UAE the chance to win the game.
Ismail, who had an outstanding match, made no mistake from 12 yards out.
Baroot thought his team would have won the game even without their numerical advantage.
"We were playing better before the two Valencia players were sent off.
"I think they took a more casual approach when they had to play against nine. But I am satisfied with the result and their progress," he said.
"As I have mentioned earlier, we are glad to play in such competitions to gain experience.
"We lost the first game [to Manchester City 1-0] but the boys have pulled up their socks to win the next two [2-1 against both Qatar and Valencia]."