Alberto Zaccheroni explains absence of Omar Abdulrahman and Ali Mabkhout for King's Cup

Denzil Pinto 23/03/2018
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Absent: Omar Abdulrahman (centre)

UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni has defended the absence of Omar Abdulrahman and Ali Mabkhout with the Italian stressing that he’s keen to give opportunities to younger players at the King’s Cup.

The Whites were beaten 2-1 by Slovakia at Thailand’s Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok as goals from Albert Rusnak and Michal Duris earned Jan Kozak’s side a deserved victory. Ahmed Khalil scored the UAE’s goal.

2016 AFC Player of the Year and Al Ain playmaker Abdulrahman and Al Jazira striker Mabkhout, who was top-scorer in the 2015 Asian Cup, were left out of the 24-man squad for the Bangkok trip.

It was the first time that the national team were playing without Abdrulrahman and Mabkhout since the Gulf Cup final in January.

The duo were punished by the UAE Football Association with a four-match domestic suspension in January after being found guilty of leaving the team’s hotel without permission the night before their Gulf Cup final against Oman. The UAE lost the match in Kuwait City on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Zaccheroni said they still remain in his plans but wants to use the four-team Kings’ Cup tournament as a chance to analyse talent at his disposal ahead of the 2019 Asian Cup on home soil.

“There are no differences in the value of Omar and Mabkhout, they are the pillars of the team,”he said. “They are two very important players and they were not called because I know their level and I want to give the opportunity to new players.”

The Gulf Cup finalists will now face Gabon in Sunday’s third-place match and the Italian has warned his team to create more opportunities after being disappointed with what he saw against Slovakia.

“The difference in the first half of the game was great,” said the former AC Milan and Japan coach. “Our midfield created many chances in the second half, but we managed to turn one goal into a goal. As you could see, Slovakia have a number of really good players who have a lot of potential and they took their chances.

“Gradually as the match went on, we played better.”

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Du LaLiga HPC crowned UAE FA Academy League champions

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Champions du LaLiga HPC

Du LaLiga HPC Under-18 side were crowned champions of the UAE FA Academy League after a win over City FC.

A 2-1 victory meant du La Liga HPC ended the season unbeaten and win the Under-18 title for the second straight year.

With everything to play for at The Sevens, City opened the scoring on 18 minutes when Jack Manson’s free-kick found the top left hand corner of the net.

Keeping their composure, du LaLiga HPC fought on and minutes later, Yahia Iraqi’s corner opened up an opportunity for striker Lotfi Machou to head the ball clean past the City FC keeper for the equaliser.

With the scores level at half-time, both teams came out fighting.

Du LaLiga HPC kept possession and maintained pressure on City FC and they were rewarded just after the hour mark.

A poor tackle by City’s Max Foster in the penalty box gave du LaLiga HPC a penalty 66 minutes into the match. Mohammed Haytham stepped up to the ball and planted it into the back of the net, putting du LaLiga HPC in the lead.

City FC did their best to get back into the game but du La Liga HPC held on for victory.

The result meant they finished off a stellar season after an intensive year-long training at the du LaLiga High Performance Centre.

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City Football Schools to offer free coaching sessions in Dubai

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For the first time budding young footballers will now be able to learn the City way, for free, in Dubai thanks to City Football School’s coaching sessions taking place this spring.

The sessions which are aimed at children aged 5 – 16 years old, will take place across two different venues; Hartland School, Nad Al Sheba and Sunmarke School, JVT from 26 March – 3 April 2018.

Simon Hewitt City Football School’s Head of Football Operations said: “It’s great to be able to offer free coaching sessions to children based in Dubai as there’s a lot of talent throughout the Emirate.

“The coaching sessions we are offering are built upon the philosophy and training program of the Manchester City Academy which offers young players, the opportunity to improve their football skills, make friends, stay healthy and have lots of fun under the guidance of fully qualified City Football coaches.”

 “The sessions are free and open to both boys and girls aged 5 -16 years, however places are limited so I would encourage anyone wanting to register to do so quickly!”

Sessions will commence at Hartland School, Nad Al Sheba from Monday 26 until Thursday 29 March before moving to Sunmarke School, JVT on Friday 30 and Saturday 31.

The final sessions will take place on Sunday 1 until Tuesday 3 April, again at Sunmarke School, JVT.  For all of the timings and age groups please see below:

 Session 1

Where: Hartland School, Nad Al Sheba

When: Monday 26, Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 March

Timings: 5-10 years from 17:00 – 18:15 and 11-16 years from 18:45 – 20:00

Session 2

Where: Sunmarke School, Jumeriah Village Triangle  

When: Friday 30 and Saturday 31 March

Timings: 5-10 years from 09:00 – 10:15 and 11-16 years from 10:45 -12noon

Session 3

Where: Sunmarke School, Jumeriah Village Triangle  

When: Sunday 1, Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 April

Timings: 5-10 years from 17:00 – 18:15 and 11-16 years from 18:45 – 20:00

 How to register: Email [email protected]

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