Igor Coronado (left) celebrates with a team-mate after scoring a goal against Al Dhafra during their President's Cup qauater-final match on Monday.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Sharjah’s Brazilian imports Igor Coronado, Welliton Soares and Caio were on target as as The Kings drubbed Al Dhafra 4-0 in a President’s Cup quarter-final match on Monday.
Sharjah bounced back from the disappointment of the league defeat against Bani Yas to book a berth in the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament.
It was Welliton, who opened the scoring, putting Sharjah 1-0 ahead. Al Dhafra tried hard to restore the parity but failed to penetrate the tight defence of Sharjah.
At the end of the first-half, the score was 1-0 and Al Dhafra were oblivious of what was in store for them as Sharjah had different plans.
In the second-half, Sharjah added three more to their tally to finish it off in style. Coronado found the back of the net in the 58th minute to make it 2-0.
Caio heaped more misery on Al Dhafra as he fired one more for in the 86th minute to extend the lead to 3-0. Al Dhafra were striving to curtail the deficit and at least scored one goal to save blushes.
In the dying moment, Coronado added an extra-time goal in 91st minute to complete the 4-1 rout as Sharjah became the first team to move into semis.
Meanwhile, in the two remaining quarter-finals on Tuesday, Shabab Al Ahli will meet Emirates at Rashid Stadium at 4:45 pm, while Ajman take on Al Nasr at Al Maktoum Stadium in a 7:45pm kick-off.
Shabab Al Ahli coach Mahdi Ali vowed to come back stronger and book a President’s Cup semi-final berth with a victory over Emirates after suffering a 3-2 loss against Fujairah in the league.
“We are playing an important match against the Emirates team, and we must win to reach the semi-finals. The match is a good opportunity for the players to restore their confidence after losing the previous game against Fujairah in the league,” said Ali.
“I hope that they will respond positively with a sense of responsibility on the field after the defeat in the last game,” he added.
Ali also predicted a tough match against Emirates and vowed no slip-ups.
“We did not achieve what was required in the Fujairah match in the league, and now we are facing an important match against a strong team, who have experienced players and a good coach.
“It will not be an easy match, especially against a team like Emirates, who played a lot in the professional league, and I do not consider them as a first-class team,” he apprised.
“The President’s Cup matches are not like matches where you can share the spoils. The players should focus on the match and return with a positive result.
“After the Fujairah match, we have resumed training, and there are some injured players such as Ahmed Khalil and Cartabia, and they are currently receiving treatment,” he informed.
Shabab Al Ahli player Saeed Ahmed also emphasized on the importance of the match, stressing it to be must-win game.
“We are playing a very important game against the Emirates, and the Cup matches are different from the league matches. They are knock-out encounters either you flourish or perish,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Al Nasr coach Krunoslav Jurcic said they are wary of Ajman prowess but ready to face any challenge that comes in their way.
“We have a difficult match against Ajman but team is ready for the match. This being a knock-out round, which makes the match more tough and interesting.
“Ajman will also come into the match with a positive attitude to win and progress to the last four. Like all the teams they also aspire to win and qualify for the semis,” said Jurcic.
“We have made the necessary preparations and do not have any absences in the team and all the players are ready for the important match of Ajman.
“Going to the next game in the quarter-finals of the President's Cup at our stadium gives us motivation and is a positive thing for us,” he elaborated While Al Nasr player Abdul Rahman Youssef said: "We have an important match and we are trying to achieve a positive result.
"I work very hard in the training to be ready, and I strive to give everything I have for the team," he added.
Ajman coach Ayman Al Ramady also vowed to enter the match with a positive frame of mind and move to the semi-finals of the tournament.
“We are facing a strong competitor, and we must go into match in a good state of mind in order to be able to achieve the desired result.
“If we want to keep our hopes alive we must win and we know Al Nasr are a dangerous customer. We are expecting tough game,” said Ramady.
Ajman player Rashid Hassan said he is expecting a tough fight from Al Nasr, who have very good players and a competent coaching staff.
“It is going to be a difficult match that requires physical and psychological preparation from the players. We are ready for the match and will go into the game with a winning mentality,” said Hassan.
Bani Yas' Brazilian midfielder Joao Pedro's goal in the 41st minute it was that reduced the margin for Bani Yas and kept them in the match. The scoreline at the end of the first half stayed the same with Al Jazira leading Bani Yas 2-1.
Hailing the UAE for delivering a hugely successful event, Infantino said, "I think that it has been a fantastic event here in Abu Dhabi. There has been great organisation and we have loved Abu Dhabi for many years already, so I must thank Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
"The girls finally brought football home,” said Mary Caine, who attended the game with her 8-year-old daughter. "We’re delighted! It’s historic. It was magic in there and a breakthrough moment for women’s sport.
The event will be held under the patronage of the Dubai Sports Council in cooperation with the Emirates Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.
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