Al Jazira and Al Nasr players in action during their AGL match on Wednesday.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Al Nasr rallied to beat Al Jazira 2-1 and Ittihad Kalba piled more misery on newly promoted Khorfakkan, who are yet to win a game after twelve rounds on Wednesday.
Kalba beat Khorfakkan 3-2 at home after an injury time goal, in the dying moments, by K. Autonne curtailed the lead for the visitors to restore some pride.
Meanwhile, the second day of Matchweek 12 of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) features some interesting clashes, which involve some top teams aspiring to go on top and on the other hand, there will be teams in action, who are fighting hard to remain afloat.
In the top of the table clash, Shabab Al Ahli will look to maintain their winning momentum against fourth placed Al Ain at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
Shabab Al Ahli coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said: “We are returning to the league matches within a few days after our last game against Ittihad Kalba and we will try to put up a strong performance against a strong team.
“Al Ain have good players with experience who can play attacking football and achieve victory and run away with three points, when they need them the most.”
“Majid Nasser and Lovanor are undergoing treatment. There is a meeting with the medical staff later in the day to find out the health status of both the players. We are trying to avoid more injuries and stop them from aggravating, especially that we have an important match during the next week,” informed Arruabarrena.
He downplayed talk of Al Ain having a temporary coach and predicted a tough game.
“We cannot call the Al Ain coach the “temporary coach”, as long as they put trust in him. He certainly has abilities to lead a big team and ambitions to provide good performance. He led the team to win in his last match, and these conditions do not give us any upper hand and it will be a difficult match,” he conceded.
Shabab Al Ahli striker Adel Wejdan said: “The match is important. We are up against a big team, which possesses excellent players and we will try to give our best. Our focus is on winning and taking away all three points and then it will be a good start for a new year.”
In another match, Bani Yas, fourth from the bottom, will look to climb out of danger zone with victory over Al Wasl, who are three places above them in the standings.
Al Wasl coach Laurentiu Reghecampf also predicted a tough match, saying: “It is not going to be an easy game. We must keep going and our goal is to achieve positive results with good performance. Everyone was happy when Gaibor scored two goals in the last game. We will work hard in the upcoming break after the Bani Yas match to rectify our mistakes and overcome other shortcomings. We will also talk to the managerial board about the needs of the team.”
Al Wasl player Hamadi said: “It is going to be tough game against Bani Yas and we will do everything to win the match. We have high ambitions and we want to go up in the rankings in the table.”
Bani Yas coach Winfried Schäfer expressed apprehensions against Al Wasl and warned his players to be wary of the dangers that the opponents pose.
“Al Wasl are a strong team and I am happy to see the Nubians come back. I want to return to the Al Jazira match and rectify our small mistakes that cost us the game. The lack of experience in our team became Al Jazira’s strength,” said the coach, referring to their 2-1 loss against the capital club.
“Our players should learn lessons from the Al Jazira match. They should learn from their mistakes that they committed against Al Jazira. Finally, I thank our young players, as well as the experienced ones, headed by Sasha, Fawaz, Fahd and Pedro, who presented an excellent match and we fought till the last breath.”
Talking about their upcoming match against Al Wasl, Schafer said: “Al Wasl have Lima, who is a matchwinner for them in most of the cases against any team. We saw the same thing happen against Khorafakkan. But we in Bani Yas don’t play like them. We depend more on teamwork more than the skills of any individual.”
“We will miss the services of Fawaz Awanah and Khaw Victor, due to the yellow cards, and it is up to Issa Al Otaiba and Suhail Al Noubi to make up for them. Both are an important addition to the squad and their presence is very important in the Al Wasl match because they always provide assistance to their colleagues,” he added.
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