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Sharjah, Al Wasl look to bounce back
By Mohammad Abdullah September 14, 2018
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Dubai: The second round of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) gets under way on Friday with thrilling contests on the cards.

In the first match of the second round, Dibba, who face Al Wahda at 5:35pm, will look to bounce back after drubbing in the opening encounter while Kalba, who had to face defeat in the previous match, will look to improve their record when they take on Emirates in the other match at 5:35pm elsewhere.

Meanwhile, both Sharjah and Al Wasl, who got off their AGL campaign with thumping victories but had to face defeats in their Arabian Gulf Cup fixtures, will also look to carry on the league’s momentum.

Sharjah, who beat Al Dhafra 4-0 in the opening match and lost to Al Ain in AGC, will meet Al Nasr and Al Wasl will face off Bani Yas after having lost their AGC match against Al Wahda.

Anbari confident

Sharjah coach Abdulaziz Al Anbari sounded confident, saying, “We gave the players a two-day rest after the meeting Al Ain in the AGC and then began preparations for our next game, which is going according to what was arranged despite the absence of international players.”

Stressing the importance of the discipline in the squad he said: “I mentioned previously that discipline on the pitch is an essential part of the positive appearance of the team and we talked with the players in this regard.”

“We have played only one game in full strength and the presence of all players especially foreigners gives strength to the team and I hope to show a strong performance against the opponent. It is not easy to beat them and achieve a positive result,” said Anbari.

“We are missing some important players but we have good names on the bench and are optimistic that they will be a strong addition to the team.

“Ahmed Dida is an important player in the team and it’s hard to lose him, and I personally like to stick to him in the line-up. Mohamed Al Shehhi will not be available for the meeting due to injury in the last game. All games have negative and positive sides and despite the loss we were able to give the opportunity to some players,” he informed.

Mendez excited

Sharjah striker Ryan Mendez spoke about his preparations for the match.

“Since my arrival in the emirates, I have trained with the team only for one day, but I can get the feel of full readiness among the players for the game.

“The scoring of two goals in Al Dhafra match is a good start and it was the result of the cooperation of all the players and thank them, and we always strive to continue the same picture and achieve positive results,” said Mendez.

“It is important to continue this level and work for the benefit of the team in the first place, and this is possible with the cooperation of everyone,” said Mendez.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Ibrahim said: “I thank the technical staff – led by coach Anbari – for their trust in me and making me a part of their plans this season, and my goal is to cheer the fans. Sharjah team is not strange to me I was with them in the previous season led by the same coach and this helps to adapt to the group faster.”

Al Wasl’s Gustavo wary

Elsewhere, Al Wasl coach Gustavo Quinteros said they will try to put their campaign back on track after loss in the AGC.

“We will try to win and get three points. It will be a closed game with Bani Yas, who have a good team and have come up with good results in the recent period. “We suffered from some defence crises, especially in the last game against Al Wahda.”

Al Ansari was injured in the ligament during the final training of the team. “The team captain Wahid Ismail was also absent from the match for unavoidable reasons.

“He is one of the most prominent players in the back line, but in the next game we will restore the services of the international duo Ali Salmin and Khamis Ismail in addition to the return of Ismail, which will increase our chances to win the all three points,” he informed.

“In the beginning, we have to meet the board of directors and the concerned parties to discuss all matters related to the team, foremost of which is to compensate defender Abdullah Saleh with another player. In addition, I want to make sure that any decision to leave any player on the team or to contract with another player, and all things that have been recently reported, are incorrect.

“We have not been able to score in the last two games against Al Wahda and Al Kalba but we have had a number of chances in the match,” he said.

“But it was sheer bad luck and we could not score, and I think the goal is the most important and the goals will come with time. We have done well in the league, winning the first game. “In the AGC, we have many matches in the group stage and we will seek to achieve outstanding results in order to qualify for the next round,” he added.

Meanwhile, Venecios de Lima also emphasised the readiness of the players for the next game against Bani Yas team and their strong preparation with the technical staff during the training, indicating the desire of players to perform well and win.

“The opposing teams often are close to the defence lines to prevent us from scoring goals, but we work with the coaching staff very hard in the training to tackle all of these things in order to return to scoring goals in the upcoming matches and winning them,” said de Lima.

“My main task with the team is to attack, but I still play a defensive role to support the players in the backlines and the coach knows this very well. We are working very hard to achieve the team’s goals and desires,” Venicios concluded.

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