Bani Yas in title race after Al Ain win; Al Wahda recall Ten Cate - GulfToday

Bani Yas in title race after Al Ain win; Al Wahda recall Ten Cate


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Bani Yas pulled off a second-half comeback to condemn Al Ain to a 2-1 defeat at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in matchweek 21 of the Arabian Gulf League late Tuesday.

The home side got off to the perfect start as Laba Kodjo opened the scoring only four minutes in with an excellent strike from outside the box. Bani Yas couldn’t find the back of the net during the first half as Al Ain headed into halftime leading 1-0.

Sultan Al Shamsi fired a long-range shot past keeper Khalid Eisa to level the contest only six minutes after the restart. In the 78th minute, Joao Pedro handed Bani Yas the lead, scoring what turned out to be the match-winner and extending the Sky Blues’ winning streak to four games.

The Sky Blues kept the pressure on Al Jazira with a come-from-behind win over Al Ain that left them in second place two points off the league leaders. They extended the gap with Sharjah, who fell to a defeat against Shabab Al Ahli, to five points.

TEN CATE RETURNS TO AL WAHDA: Henk Ten Cate has been appointed Al Wahda head coach, the four-time UAE Pro League champions announced on Tuesday.

The 66-year-old coach replaces Serbian Vuk Rasovic who recently parted ways with the club following several poor results in the UAE Pro League.

Dutchman ten Cate previously led Al Wahda for six months before leaving the team due to personal reasons. The first match for ten Cate will be against Al Dhafra in Round 21 of UAE Pro League on Tuesday as Al Wahda continue their preparations for their 2021 AFC Champions League Playoff tie against Iraq’s Al Zawra’a on Apr.7.

Having called time on his playing career in 1986, former winger ten Cate had several coaching stints in the Netherlands and Europe before moving to Asia where he joined Shabab Al Ahli Dubai in 2010.

He then managed Umm Salal in Qatar and China’s Shandong Luneng before steering Al Jazira to the UAE Pro League title in the 2016-2017 season. He also had a three-month spell with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in 2019.

SAUDI NAME SQUAD FOR KUWAIT, PALESTINE TIES: Head coach Herve Renard has called up a 26-strong squad for Saudi Arabia’s matches against Kuwait and Palestine later this month.

Saudi Arabia will meet Kuwait in a friendly on Mar.25 before playing Palestine in Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

A win over Palestine will take Saudi Arabia to top of the group, with Uzbekistan the current leaders with nine points. Renard’s side are one behind.

Saudi Arabia squad: Goalkeepers: Abdullah Al Owaishir, Mohammed Al Owais, Zaid Al Bawardi, Amin Bukhari.; Defenders: Abdullah Madu, Hassan Tambakti, Ahmed Sharahili, Ali Al Bulaihi, Yasser Al Shahrani, Sultan Al Ghanam, Mohammed Al Breik, Saud Abdulhamid, Abdulelah Al Amri; Midfielders: Mohamed Kanno, Abdulellah Al Malki, Salem Al Dawsari, Fahad Al Muwallad, Abdullah Otayf, Abdulrahman Ghareeb, Mohammed Al Kuwaykibi, Sami Al Najei, Hassan Al Amri, Nasser Al Dawsari, Ali Al Asmari; Forwards: Firas Al Brikan, Abdullah Al Hamdan

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