Yemen, a one-point team [Archives:2004/801/Sports]

December 23 2004

By Adel Al-Khawlani
Yemen Times Staff

In the 16th Gulf Championship held last year in Kuwait, Yemen drew with Oman in the Opener to grasp a single point. But the following games with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE , the Yemeni national football team suffered four successive defeats . During that competition, Yemen scored only a single goal that is the equalizer against Oman.
The history repeats itself. In this year's Gulf Championship Yemen scored only one goal that is the equalizer with Bahrain in the opener. To resume its original identity, the team reaped one point and returned home. After that Yemen met Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and lost 0-2 to the former and 0-3 to the latter.
At a press conference staged after the play with Kuwait, Algerian coach Rabeh Sa'adan , explained to the media that the primary goal behind our participation in Doha is conveying a positive picture about the Yemeni football with the minimum loss. He added that the technical staff wanted the team to offer a more convincing performance than it did in the 16 the Gulf Championship under the coach Milan.
Sa'adan's answer is logical and this is what distinguished him from other coaches in the Gulf Championship. He pointed out that the team appeared better than its Kuwaiti counterpart, particularly in the first half. However the lack of experience and discipline among Yemeni footballers helped change the result of the encounter in favor of the Kuwaiti team.
Kuwait's soccer team exploited the mistakes committed by the Yemeni defense to score three goals and guarantee qualification for the semifinals.
Concerning the unconvincing performance of the Yemeni players while playing against Saudi Arabia, Sa'adan told pressmen that certain technical policies were adopted by the staff and every play has its own conditions. When determining the plan, the importance of the opponent should be taken for granted.
Regarding the future of the national football team, Sa'adan said “when the football season starts and adequate stability is provided we will be able to create harmonious and strong team. My declaration prior to the championship that the team will rank last was not a kind of optimism, rather it stemmed from my adequate knowledge of the players' abilities.”
The Kuwaiti Coach acknowledged that his side suffered from the continued pressure exerted by Yemen over his defense players.