Shabab Al Ahli face Sharjah test; Al Wasl and Al Ain prevail - GulfToday

Shabab Al Ahli face Sharjah test; Al Wasl and Al Ain prevail


Al Wasl and Kalba players in action during their Arabian Gulf League match on Thursday.

Welliton and Ali Saleh scored a goal each as Al Wasl got the better of Ittihad Kalba 2-0 in an Arabian Gulf League (AGL) match on Thursday.

Welliton opened the scoring in the 22nd minute to give Al Wasl a 1-0 lead. Two minutes from half-time Saleh sealed the winner for Al Wasl.

In another match, Kodjo Laba scored a brace as Al Ain blanked Khorfakkan 3-0. He darted home the first off a penalty kick in the fourth minute and 15 minutes later, he added another to his tally and extended the lead to 2-0.

Six minutes after half time, Bandar Mohammed slotted the third goal to make it 3-0. Khorfakkan came close to scoring many times but failed to convert half-chances into goals.

Meanwhile, Shabab Al Ahli will look to bounce back from Arabian Gulf Cup disappointment when they take on Sharjah in the top of the table clash in the Round 13 of Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Friday.

Shabab Al Ahli coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said: “We are playing an important game, and I wish that the result of the Gulf Cup final would not come out like the one it did. But now we return to the league competition and seek to win the three points against the best teams in the league to conclude the first round satisfactorily.

“Our goal as a technical body is in line with the club’s goals and that is to participate in all competitions well. We are still in the middle of the many competitions and will not stop working hard. Last year we achieved the title of the cup and this year we were not lucky,” he added.

He also exuded confidence in the players’ ability to bounce back and live up to the expectations of their fans.

“We work in a big club and I have players who are very responsible. They are all united, and they can rise to the occasion quickly. We go into matches strongly and there is mutual trust between everyone, and we still have a lot to accomplish in the league competition and the President’s Cup and the Asian Championship.”

He also ruled out that the result of the Arabian Gulf Cup final will have any bearing on the match against Sharjah.

“Every game is different from the other and Sharjah have been in a stupendous form for a year and a half. We will strive to achieve our goals and win the match points as well.”

Informing about the absentees, he said: “Muhammad Jaber will be absent from the match as he is on national duty. Saud Abdul Razzaq will not be available due to injury. Leonardo and Ahmed Khalil will have to wait for the decision of the medical staff for their participation and Ahmed Abdullah Jamil may be out of action for two or three weeks due to an injury.”

Shabab Al Ahli player Condi said: “We are playing an important match and we must focus from the first minute. Winning against Sharjah will be a good for us to widen the gap against them as they are chasing us closely. A good team is the one which quickly overcome obstacles and has great confidence in my colleagues.”

Commenting on his chances of playing in the match despite the injury that he got against Al Nasr in the Arabian Gulf Cup final, he said: “The decision to participate in the match is in the hands of the technical staff, and I attended the training in order to work hard and give all my efforts.”

Condi, at the end of his speech, addressed the fans, saying, “I hope the fans will attend the match and support us as you watched it in the Arab Gulf Cup final. They have supported us strongly and have a great influence on the players.”

In the other match, Hatta will face Al Wahda at Al Nahyan Stadium in a 6:30pm kick-off. The Spanish technical director of Al Wahda Manuel Jimenez expressed his positivity about the game.

“We are confident of winning against Hatta. The team is more prepared than before. The management also succeeded in signing good players both locals and foreigners,” he said.

Al Wahda coach also predicted a tough match and warned the players.

“Hatta’s game is an important one. And we should not forget that they defeated us in the Arabian Gulf Cup. We cannot take them lightly and we must be very focused.”

Meanwhile, Hatta’s player Samuel Rosa expressed his delight in returning to his former club.

“Sure, I am very happy and everyone knows that I am happy with my return to Hatta Club because I played two seasons in Hatta Club. I consider Hatta like my home and I hope to give a good competition.

“The team is good shape and have some wonderful players. We have a great opportunity to provide a good result if we play well and implement the coach’s instructions. We will achieve a good result and get three points.”

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

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