During United Arab Emirates’ group stage match against South Africa at Saudi Arabia 1997, it took them just 39 seconds to break the deadlock.
Moments after the referee blew his whistle to start proceedings, Saad Bakheet Mubarak was fouled as he advanced with the ball into the South African half. The resulting free-kick was lofted deep into the penalty box, where midfielder Hassan Mubarak had stolen a march on his marker and poked the ball into the net. The strike remains the only Confederations Cup goal scored in the first minute of play.
The remaining 89 minutes of the encounter were goalless, as UAE secured their first and only victory of the tournament, finishing in third place behind Uruguay and Czech Republic.