The UAE U-20 side pulled off a stunning comeback when they rallied from a goal down to beat Venezuela and booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Mohamed Ahmed and Ahmed Khalil scored the two vital goals for the Emiratis.
They now face Costa Rica in the quaters.
Here's lauding them on a job well done. Post in ur messages!
The Teams Profile
United Arab Emirates
After claiming their first ever title at U-19 level in Asia last year, the UAE come into this tournament as defending champions of the Asian section. Victory at that level was even more merited after they also had to deal with the additional presence of Australia following their relocation from the Oceania Federation. After topping a tough group, the UAE dispensed with the hosts and Australia before overcoming Uzbekistan in the final.
Success at this level may well be a stepping stone for greater things, as the UAE have largely underperformed, making the World Cup at senior level only once in the last 20 years. With finances not exactly in short supply in the region, there is certainly potential for improvement.
The squad assembled is comprised entirely of players under contact to Emirate clubs, and is one that has grown together for several years since winning the U-17 Gulf Cup in 2006.
Player to Watch: The undoubted star of the side is Ahmed Khalil from the Al-Ahli club. Joint top scorer for the UAE at the Asian competition with four goals, he was also nominated as the Player of the Tournament. He has already plenty of experience at club level under his belt, and was believed to be in line for a move to Portsmouth following the take-over at Fratton Park by Sulaiman Al-Fahim. The 18-year old remains in his homeland for now, but if he can inspire the UAE again, European interest may be rekindled.
Prediction: Round of 16