Former Korean national soccer team coach Paulo Bento showed his true colors from the first game against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national team.
The UAE, led by coach Bento, won 4-1 against Costa Rica in an international match held at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Croatia on the 13th. Coach Bento, who took charge of the UAE two months ago, 안전놀이터 showed off his leadership by leading the team to a landslide victory in his first game in his debut game.
The UAE’s victory was close to a surprise. Even if you look at the FIFA rankings, which provide a glimpse of objective power, the UAE ranks only 72nd. Costa Rica, which has experience in the World Cup finals, ranked 46th, even higher than the UAE. Moreover, the UAE was having organizational problems as there had been no official match since the Arabian Gulf Cup in January this year.
Expectations that the UAE would find it difficult to win were spectacularly wrong from the first half. The UAE scored its first goal 16 minutes into the game when Al Ghasini received a pass from Fabio Lima with a right-footed shot. Six minutes later, he succeeded in scoring an additional point through a link-up play following a cross in front of the opponent’s goal.
The UAE continued to push Costa Rica into a corner, making it 3-0 with Ali Salmin’s long-range shot in the 37th minute of the first half. Even world-class goalkeeper Keylor Navas was helpless against the UAE’s pressure. Goalkeeper Navas couldn’t even make a save due to UAE’s organized movements.
Coach Bento continued to order attacks in the second half. In response, UAE made it 4-0 in the 8th minute of the second half by exchanging passes inside the opponent’s box. The pass and move using teammates in the opposing camp was excellent. Although UAE allowed a goal to Costa Rica in the 19th minute of the second half, they prevented additional goals and finished with a 4-1 win.
Costa Rica was surprised by the UAE’s surprise. ‘ESPN’ Costa Rica edition praised, “Every time the UAE reached the penalty box, Costa Rica suffered damage,” and “The tactical discipline of the UAE players was very high. We were able to get a glimpse of coach Bento’s clear thinking.”
Just like the Costa Rica media’s analysis of the loss, the UAE showed a plan. Despite the assessment that they were inferior, they achieved a not bad 43% possession rate and showed accuracy by making 5 out of 6 shooting attempts effective. Among them, four goals were scored, proving concise and clear decision-making ability.
This is a somewhat familiar evaluation. Coach Bento has led Korea for four years since 2018 and produced similar results. He tried to instill a style of soccer that would dominate whoever the opponent was based on possession and rear build-up. Although he was sometimes criticized for his excessive tenacity, he received favorable reviews for his performance in defeating strong teams such as Uruguay and Portugal in a battle at the waist at the Qatar World Cup. The result was also successful, advancing to the round of 16 for the second time in the away World Cup in Korean soccer history.
Coach Bento, whose contract with Korea expired after the World Cup, took a break and promised to stay with the UAE for three years. Coach Bento showed motivation at his inauguration press conference, saying, “I came to the UAE for work, not for vacation. I will also have permanent residency.” The start is good, raising high expectations.
There is a possibility that we will soon meet with Korea, which has attempted changes under coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Korea and the UAE often meet on the Asian stage. They could meet at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup as early as January next year.