Bento’s UAE thrashes Costa Rica 4-1 in debut…with a blistering attacking display

September 13, 2023 | by

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) thumped Costa Rica. Paulo Bento’s first game in charge was a scorching attacking display.

The UAE defeated Costa Rica 4-1 in a friendly at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Croatia, on Wednesday morning (ET). It was the debut of Bento, who took charge of the UAE in July. The UAE hadn’t played a competitive match since the Arabian Gulf Cup in January, so it was a surprise to see them beat Costa Rica in their first match in eight months.

The UAE is ranked 72nd in the FIFA rankings, while Costa Rica is 46th. Bento played an aggressive 4-2-3-1 against Costa Rica. Costa Rica countered with a 4-4-2 and started a number of key players, including Keylor Navas (Paris Saint-Germain), Joel Campbell (Club Leon) and Randall Lill (Nashville).

However, the UAE took an early lead with three goals in the first half alone. In the 15th minute, Al Ghassani rattled the net with a powerful right-footed shot after beating a defender in the box following a Fabio Lima pass. Navas got a hand to it, but it was tipped over.

The second goal came just seven minutes later. This time, Al Ghassani’s cross found Ali Saleh at the other end. Saleh cut it non-stop back into the center of the box, where Kaio slotted it into an empty net.

In the 39th minute, the wonder goal came. Ali Salmain unleashed a mid-range shot from the far right, the ball rising and falling to beat Navas. It appeared to deflect, but it flew on a trajectory that Navas couldn’t stop, even as he flung himself at it. The first half ended with a commanding 3-0 lead for the UAE.

There was no Costa Rican comeback in the second half. In fact, the UAE completed the comeback eight minutes into the second half when Al Ghassani played a two-on-one pass and hit the far post with an easy right foot. Down 0-4, Costa Rica made four substitutions in the 13th minute of the second half to try and fight back, but Julio Cascante’s header in the 19th minute was the last straw, as the UAE ran out 4-1 winners.

According to soccer stats site FlashScore, the UAE had 43% possession on the day. However, five of their six shots on goal were on target, demonstrating their excellent goal-scoring prowess as they scored four goals.

Throughout the game, the UAE used their excellent partial defense on the left and right flanks to effectively attack Costa Rica, especially in the first half, when they dominated possession (51%) and had their first four shots on target. Bento’s offense was on fire in his debut, and it paid off with a spectacular win 스포츠토토.

Bento, meanwhile, is the longest-serving manager of the South Korean national team, having been in charge for more than four years after his appointment in 2018. He was criticized for his possession-oriented tactics at the start of his tenure, but he stuck to his guns. There were crises along the way, but he eventually transplanted his style of soccer to South Korea and led the team to their second-ever round of 16 appearance away from home at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. With his contract ending after the tournament, Bento’s next stop was the UAE. On July 10, Bento signed a three-year contract with the UAE, where he will face South Korea. South Korea and the UAE are frequent opponents in World Cup Asian qualifiers and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. There is an immediate possibility of a tournament clash at the AFC Qatar Asian Cup in January.


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