Ajman and Al Ain players in action during their President's Cup match on Saturday.
Mohammad Abdullah, Sports Reporter
Sharjah booked the quarter-finals berth of the President’s Cup with a 2-0 victory over Khorfakkan at Saqr Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi Stadium in Khorfakkan on Saturday.
Willton Suarez scored the first goal in the 10th minute to put Sharjah ahead. Khorfakkan tried hard to restore the parity but they could not penetrate the tight defence of Sharjah.
Ten minutes later, Alwan Pereira added another to extend the lead to 2-0. Khorfakkan failed to overturn the lead and the game ended in a 2-0 win for Sharjah.
Sharjah are the defending champions and sitting on the top of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) standing with 20 points.
They had a stellar start to the season as they went on to win six consecutive matches before Khorfakkan stopped their juggernaut.
Meanwhile, Ajman also qualified for the quarter-finals of the President Cup after their victory over Al Ain at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
William Ouso struck in the 43rd minute to score the lone goal of the game and hand Ajman well-deserved away win.
The match was moderated by a referee team consisting of, Yahya Al Mulla (referee of the square) Ahmed Al Rashdi (first assistant) Walid Al Qarmati (second assistant) Youssef Al Shamali (fourth referee).
Al Jazira coach Marcel Keizer said they are all set to face Al Dhafra in the pre quarter-finals of the President’s Cup Al Dhafra at Hamdan Bin Zayed Stadium on Sunday.
In the three other matches of the day, Emirates will take on Ittihad Kalba, Shabab Al Ahli meet Hatta and Bani Yas face Al Orooba.
Commenting on the availability of the players for the match, the coach said: “Omer Abdulrahman and Imho Ezekiel will miss Sunday’s game due to injury, but the rest of the team are fit and ready to take on Al Dhafra.
Omar had picked up an injury during their last Arabian Gulf League match and has been sidelined for a few days.
“Al Dhafra are a good team, and they it is challenging to play against them, regardless of the competition we are facing them at,” said Keizer.
“They have a pretty good attack and strong midfielders, and we know what to expect from them when the time comes.
“We still have few hours until kick-off and we will use this time to put the final touches on the game plan and squad selection,” he apprised.
He also said though Al Jazira want to win the tournament, they will take the competition step by step instead of bothering about the future.
“The UAE President Cup is prestigious trophy, and like all the other teams in the country, we also want to win it of course. But we will not distract ourselves by thinking on the paths to the final, or the identity of our next opponent in case we qualified. We will take it step by step, and right now our only focus is to put the best possible performance against Al Dhafra and seal a quarter-final berth. And we will see after that what our next step in the tournament is,” he informed.
Al Jazira’s left-back Abdullah Idris also predicted a tough game against Al Dhafra.
“All the 16 teams want to win this prestigious trophy, and we are not exception. But we know that we have to take it session by session, match by match,” he said
“If we start thinking about the final right now instead of the next game, it will be a fatal mistake. So we are focusing totally on the game against Al Dhafra.
“It’s important, and challenging, but we can get the desired result only if we stick to the game plan. We have to keep our focus at the highest level and show the spirit and determination during the 90 minutes,” add d Idris.
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