Sharjah seek return to winning ways - GulfToday

Sharjah seek return to winning ways

Arabian Gulf League

Sharjah coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari looks to extend the lead with a win against Al Wasl.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Sharjah will look to bounce back after two consecutive draws, when they take on Al Wasl in a ninth round match of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Thursday.

Some interesting clashes are on the cards with seven games scheduled over a period of two days. On the first day, a total of three matches will be played, featuring six teams.

In the other matches, a buoyant Ajman will visit Al Ain and Al Nasr welcome Fujairah.

Sharjah had a stellar start to the season as they went on to win the first six matches on the trot before being held by Khorfakkan and Shabab Al Ahli in the seventh and the eighth rounds respectively.

They are still unbeaten and on the top of the standings with 20 points from eight games.

Shrugging off any pressure after two straight draws, Sharjah coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari said: “Losing four points in the last two matches does not mount any kind of pressure on us.

“We have players, who are aware of their responsibilities and are able to deal with such situations. We always strive to give our best and make the King’s loyal fans happy.

“In our last match against Khorfakkan, we won by two goals and succeeded in ending the match without conceding any.

“This is what we seek in terms of playing with a balance between all the departments of the team, which are working as a unit,” he said referring to their 2-0 victory over Khorfakkan in a President’s Cup match.

“It is going to be an exciting encounter between the two teams. Al Wasl are coming into the game on the back of a victory. And we are looking forward to return to the winning ways after two stalemates that is something that makes the match more interesting,” he added.

Sharjah defender Ali Al Dhanhani predicted a tough match against Al Wasl, who defeated Fujairah 1-0 in their President’s Cup match.

“We expect a difficult match for both the teams, but we are determined to collect full points. We want to lead by points not by the goal difference.

“On the other hand, we are up against a very good team, who give a tough competition to everyone,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Al Wasl coach Salem Rabie said he has a lot of respect for Sharjah, who are the current leaders and the defending champions.

“I respect Sharjah as a team but we would like to return with a win. We achieved two victories in the league and one in the President’s Cup, and we are looking to continue the momentum,” said Rabie.

“Our goalkeeper Hamid Abdullah had practised in training sessions normally in the past few days and is fit to participate in the match after being injured against Al Ain. “What relates me to Al Wasl is more valuable than contract papers. I respect the club’s decision and I am ready to work with the Brazilian Odair Hellmann, if required.

“He has achieved good results with the Brazilian clubs including Internacional and Fluminense, and I think it will be a great addition to Al Wasl if Hellmann’s contract gets finalised,” said Rabie while replying to a query.

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