Al Ain boss Zoran Mamic reveals serious repercussions of Arabian Gulf Cup thrashing

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Ahmed Khalil (l) featured in the demoralising loss to Al Wahda (Al Ain).

Enraged coach Zoran Mamic has ominously revealed he’s learned who to “rely on” after Al Ain’s embarrassing derby capitulation to Al Wahda in the Arabian Gulf Cup’s quarter-finals.

A changed side, that still contained the likes of ex-AFC Players of the Year Ahmed Khalil and Omar Abdulrahman, suffered the indignity of a 5-1 humbling at Zayed Sports City in Friday’s decider.

Even though the fixture came between 2018 AFC Champions League group matches for both clubs, Mamic has marked the cards of several underperforming players for the challenges ahead.

He said: “I do not know what to say after that loss. The players did not make the match and we made several mistakes during the match.

“This is the reality. Al Ain has a number of excellent players who have a professional mentality and international experience.

“However, my team did not show up in the game against Al Wahda and we did a bad job. So, I’m not happy.

“But on the other side, each game you find some positive aspects even if the outcome is negative. For me, I have identified my players I will rely on to benefit my team during the next phase.”

An AG Cup fixture featuring weakened teams is nothing new. The majority of its rounds are played during international breaks.

“We are planning to finish this season in the required manner,” said Mamic. “If we had won this game and qualified for the semi-finals, we will lose in our next game about 10 international players because of the team’s gathering in Thailand.

“I respect championships like the Arabian Gulf Cup. But some teams are losing large numbers of internationals.

“For example, in the first game between us and Al Wahda [in December] we were actually missing 10 players and Wahda missed two.

“For me, this tournament is my last when ranking the importance of the four tournaments that Al Ain participates in this season.”

Al Ain remain top of the Arabian Gulf League. They will also look to build on last week’s creditable, opening goalless draw at Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal when they host Michael Laudrup’s Al Rayyan in Group D of Asia’s premier club competition on Tuesday.

“The fact that the outcome of the Wahda game is bad will have no effect, at all, next Tuesday at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium,” said Mamic. “The team will be at full readiness for the second game in the AFC Champions League.”

Most popular

Al Wahda confirm their place in Arabian Gulf Cup final four with crushing win over Al Ain

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Al Wahda confirmed their place as the fourth and last Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finalists in style after thrashing rivals Al Ain 5-1 at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi to take the aggregate score to 7-2.

For Al Wahda Mourad Batna opened the scoring on eight minutes with Tareq Ahmed adding another in the first half.

Sebastian Tagliabue, Mohamed Alshehhi and Mohamed Alkaberi added second half strikes while Ahmed kalil scored for Al Ain.

Al Wasl joined Al Wahda in the last four with a 1-0 victory over Al Nasr with Caio Canedo’s goal proving the difference over two-legs.

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai renewed their superiority over Hatta in their second leg with a 2-0 win at Rashid Stadium to add to their substantial 3-0 advantage from the first leg, completing a 5-1 aggregate win against the Hurricane to become this season’s first semi-finalists.

As expected, the first leg result overshadowed the game performance, and the scoresheet remained blank for the first 45 minutes, with some shy attempts from Shabab Al Ahli, who dominated the first half but without any serious threats.

After his latest injury, Makhete Diop returned to the scoresheet putting his team in front, when he diverted Ante Erceg’s pass into the net ten minutes after the break.

Hatta’s response was instant as Ahmed Khameis’ cheeky lob deceived goalkeeper Majed Naser to even the score in the 52nd minute.

Erecg doubled the score for his side ten minutes before the final whistle to add to his side’s lead from the first leg and confirm their semi-final berth.

In the other quarter-final AGL champions Al Jazira failed to overturn a 3-1 deficit to Dibba Al Fujairah, going down 1-0.

Yassen Mahmoud rounded Ali Khaseif after just seven minutes to score the only goal.

Most popular

Shabab Al Ahli still believe they can salvage sorry debut season with Arabian Gulf Cup

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Shabab Al Ahli midfielder Majed Hassan in December's first-leg win at Hatta (PLC).

Optimistic boss Mahdi Ali is convinced Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s trying inaugural season can still reap a first piece of silverware.

May’s merger has been anything but a runaway success. A draining run of draws saw coach Cosmin Olaroiu get sacked in December, with replacement Ali not faring much better.

A shot at redemption comes on Thursday night in the Arabian Gulf Cup quarter-final decider against struggling Hatta.

“Our ambition is to compete for the remaining two titles, and we have great hope of winning one of them,” said Ali, whose charges hold a commanding 3-0 advantage.

“The team has many imperfections and there is the possibility of giving some players a chance.”

Dibba Al Fujairah possess a 3-1 lead against an Al Jazira side riding high after Monday’s winning start against Qatar’s Al Gharafa in the 2018 AFC Champions League.

This is a factor which worries Fishermen coach Paulo Comelli.

He said: “Al Jazira is a big team.

“After winning in Asia, they will also be full of confidence.”

A Bur Dubai-derby kicks-off Friday’s final clashes. December’s opener at Al Wasl’s Zabeel Stadium ended in a 2-2 draw, but it’s been all change for Al Nasr since.

Ex-Italy tactician Cesare Prandelli was sacked in January, a decision to rehire Serbian Ivan Jovanovic seeing a perfect three wins recorded from three matches.

“The morale of the players is high,” said Lebanon centre-back Joan Oumari. “In the dressing room, we all agreed to fight.”

Al Wahda beat Al Ain 2-1 in the opener, but both now possess different distractions.

The Boss are gunning for domestic and continental glory, while Wahda are likely to continue concentrating on the top flight – a weakened side went down 5-0 at Lokomotiv Tashkent in the ACL.

AG Cup Fixtures

Most popular