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Sunday, April 15, 2001

Football - UAE show no mercy

There were no surprises last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium as the goal-fest that was widely expected truly materialised with the United Arab Emirates thumping a sorry Brunei side 12-0 in their World Cup qualifying match.

There was truly no two ways to describe UAE's dominance. Fitter, stronger, technically better, there was always only one result with the question being just how many goals the visitors would be able to put past the Brunei goalkeeper Ibrahim Abu Bakar.

Brunei's scourge last night proved to be the energetic striker Yaser Salem Salleh Ali whose five goals did not really tell the whole story of his all-round contribution to the game, causing Brunei countless problems with his pace and intelligent running. It was a horrendous start for Brunei as they found themselves a goal down with the game barely a minute old, all talk of frustrating the visitors from UAE going down the drain.

A simple through-ball played behind the defence allowed Yaser Salem to slot home beyond Ibrahim, silencing the sparse home crowd that had braved the torrential downpour to support their national team. Brunei had to recompose themselves but they did so only momentarily until the 12th minute when Yaser Salem turned provider by breaking free down the right and squaring the ball for his strike partner Mohamed Omar Ahmed to tap in at the near post.

After constant pressure, the third goal came in the 27th minute, Mohamed Ibrahim Hussain on hand to tap in after Ibrahim could only parry Fahed Masoud Ali Masoud's effort. If it wasn't apparent earlier, the difference in class between the sides was now beginning to show itself in full force, UAE passing the ball about with incredible ease while Brunei's youngsters struggled to even string together four decent passes.

UAE were really looking threatening from all sections of the park and it came as no surprise when they scored their fourth goal in the 38th minute through Subait Khater Fayel, albeit with more than a hint of offside attached to the goal. Mohamed Omar scored his second of the game in injury time of the first period to bring the scoreline to 5-0 but any thoughts of the visitors letting up in the second half were soon vanquished as UAE came out with only one thought on their mind, and that was to add to the ever-increasing scoreline.

They didn't have to wait long as substitute Abdul Salam Jumaa Anbar scored UAE's sixth just four minutes into the second half, the goal coming as a result of unrelenting pressure. Brunei's captain Ali Momin had a hand in scoring UAE's seventh when he put the ball into his own net, slicing his attempted clearance into the corner of the net.

Yasir Salem, who had opened the scoring in the first minute, scored UAE's next two goals to register his hat-trick, his consecutive brace coming in the 58th and 67th minute. His first goal was a cheeky effort through the legs of the advancing Ibrahim while his second a clinical finish, curling the ball beyond the hapless Ibrahim.

Not content with just the hat-trick Yasir Salem took it upon himself to pour on the misery for Brunei scoring in the 75th and 81st minute respectively with Fahed Masoud Ali Masoud's deflected free-kick rounding off the scoring in injury time.

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin Sunday

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