Three games in UAE tourneyYemen reaps two points [Archives:2004/787/Sports]

November 4 2004
Yemeni striker Al-Nono (r) fighting for the ball on the sideline against a Sudanese player in the first encounter.
Yemeni striker Al-Nono (r) fighting for the ball on the sideline against a Sudanese player in the first encounter.
By Adel Al-Khawlani
Yemen Times Staff

DUBAI – Yemen's national football team suffered a 3-1 loss in its first play against the Sudanese Al-Marreekh Club. It also stopped at a 0-0 draw against Iraqi Police Club and another 2-2 draw in encountering Zambia in the first round of Sheikh Mohammad Binrashid International Championship currently staged in the UAE.
The first defeat was not expected but justified due to several factors that had gone against the favor of the players and the coaching staff as well. The team played its second game against the Iraqi Police Club with degraded morale and non-combatant spirit leading to a 0-0 draw.
The Yemeni football experiences reflect the lack of interest of the Yemeni Football Federation (YFF). It did not give the players the financial support and other privileges when they traveled to meet North Korea before the advent of Ramadan. Such lack of interest and encouragement for the team can be held responsible for the miserable achievements of the Yemeni football as well the disgusting performance of the players.
On the contrary, the Sudanese Al-Marreekh, which played with combatant spirit, received honors over their win over Yemen. The Sudanese supporters inside and outside the country, and journalists celebrated the precious victory of their players.
Many professionals and skillful Sudanese stars from the senior team play for this club, which prepared well for the encounter. It strongly competes to attain the title.
The harsh play and rough intervention of the Sudanese caused disturbance to the Yemeni players and hardened their task. The 10-day break after meeting North Korea is thought of as a primary factor behind the loss, as the team stayed for this period without staging any training camps or practice games.
During this period, nothing had gone to the advantage of the players except for a tiresome journey while traveling to and coming back from Korea.
In the second meeting which combined Yemen's national team and the Iraqi Police Club, the Yemeni players performed a bit better than they did in the previous play despite the game ending with a 0-0 draw.
The average age of the Iraqi players ranges between 22 and 19, however, they proved able to challenge the senior players who raged several offensives through striker Ali Al-Nono and others but could not shake the opponent's net.
The team adopted the plan (3-5-2) in the first half but this changed into being (3-4-3) in the second with some unsuccessful attacks. Three strikers, instead of two in the first half, shouldered the responsibility of a forward center.
The first-class referee from the U.A.E was not somehow eligible in running the match. He dealt indifferently with some obstructions committed against Yemen's players. Neither red nor yellow cards were issued on the face of the aggressive players who caused harmful injuries to some players of Yemen's national team, particularly Nasser Ghazi who was crowned and received the best-player prize for being player of the match.
Striker Al-Nono appeared fatigued in the game after being hospitalized before the match time for suffering from paristhmic pain and fever. He should have lamented his carelessness and the loss of two gold balls provided by veteran Nasser Ghazi. The first uncompensated chance was in minute 16 of the second half when Ghazi sent him a ball to be shot over the net. Minute 23 of the same half also saw Al-Nono alone with another easily offered ball cleverly made by Ghazi. He exaggerated in advancing with the ball to let the opponent's goalkeeper intervene and save it. One minute after, the referee deprived Yemen of a true penalty kick when Al-Nono was obstructed by Iraqi defense player Hamza Hadi inside the penalty area. Youthful Abdulelah Sharyan also failed to score in the 11 th minute of the first half through a ball gifted to him by Fadhl Al-Aroumi.
On the other hand, the Iraqis waged many recurrent re-offensives, particularly in the last few minutes of the second half that could jeopardize Yemen's net.
On Monday evening, the team played against Zambia and recovered from a two-goal deficit to equalize the result with striker Al-Nono captaining the team.
Zambia went ahead in minute 33 of the first half when Striker Lameel Mawali scored the first goal for his side, exploiting the carelessness of the Yemeni defense. In minute 12 of the second half, Chasw Nosovo added the second to put Zambia 2-goal lead over Yemen.
Algerian Rabeh Sadan, coach of the national team, then conducted successful substitutions and reorganized the team, intensifying the rate of attacks to yield a goal with only eight minutes remaining to end the scenario by Al-Nono through a penalty shot over the obstruction of Fadhl Al-Aroumi inside the penalty area.
In the killing time, youthful player Waseem Al-Qa'ar equalized through a ball passed to him by Al-Nono, who was crowned “best player of the match.”