The United Arab Emirates is coached by an Italian, Alberto Zaccheroni. And like any good Italian, he can employ catenaccio like a champ. UAE didn’t allow a single goal in the Arabian Gulf Cup. Unfortunately, his team couldn’t score, either, and Oman edged UAE in a shootout to win the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Friday in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
The UAE advanced through the knockout rounds with two 0-0 draws and a 1-0 win over Oman thanks to a penalty scored by Ali Mabkhout. In the semifinals, they beat Iraq in a shootout after another 0-0 draw.
If you learn anything today, please let it be this: Kids are not good at anything. This recent video of 100 children taking on three Japanese internationals will serve as my indisputable evidence.
Hiroshi Kiyotake, Hotaru Yamaguchi and Yosuke Ideguchi faced off against 30 forwards, 30 midfielders, 30 defenders and 10 goalkeepers in a friendly match recently. While the youngsters were well drilled in positional discipline (they refused to be pulled from their defensive stations), their skills left a lot to be desired.
Not many outside Scotland remember Paul Wilson, who played for Celtic and, for one 15-minute appearance, the Scottish national team. In fact, even in the land of celebrated Scots Robert Burns and Sir William Wallace, his name registers with only the most diehard fans of both club and country.
China’s Wang Shanshan scored the kind of goal that comes from crossing the DNA of Tobin Heath and Lieke Mertens in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship (the women’s football championship of East Asia) today.
The sometimes defender, sometimes forward kept it poacher after South Korea cleared a Chinese corner in the 18th minute. However, the ball made its way back into the box with a clipped effort over the top, and Shanshan was there to apply the most impudent of touches to steer the ball inside the near post with her heel.
In a rare win for U.S. Soccer in recent months, the organization made the correct choice and named Christian Pulisic the 2017 Male Player of the Year. Pulisic, a 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder from Hershey, Pennsylvania, became the youngest winner of the award.
Colombia’s friendly against South Korea on Nov. 10 did not endear the South Americans to the world. Midfielder Edwin Cardona made a racist gesture to South Korean players following an embarrassing flop by James Rodriguez. We wrote then that if FIFA had any sense, Cardona would be given a lengthy ban lasting through the World Cup.