Abdulaziz Al Anbari bemoaned Sharjah’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal as they exited the President’s Cup quarter-finals to Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club – with Ante Erceg’s late goal seeing them edge into the semi-finals.
Croatian Erceg picked up a loose defensive header on the edge of the box in the 81st minute and sent a low drive beyond Sharjah stopper Adel Al Hosani to settle a tight game at Ajman’s Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Stadium.
The win for Mahdi Ali’s side sets up a mouthwatering semi-final showdown, with all four occupying slots inside the Arabian Gulf League’s top five, with Al Ain, Al Wahda and Al Wasl all lying in wait.
King coach Al Anbari was proud of his players in defeat and chose to look ahead to next season.
“The problem of the team in the attack and we will work on them to strengthen the team in the next season, and this does not mean that we are bad this season,” he said.
“Shabab Al Ahli is a team full of young players and top foreigners. Sharjah have provided a good level and we work as a team of players and we will meet the needs of the team for the next season.”
Al Anbari thanked his players for their efforts in defeat, adding: “Cup matches have small details and maybe there was too much caution there. Before the goal we tried to strengthen the offensive side and even after the goal but the result was negative and we accept this.
“The team as a whole bear the result but we should not forget the positive level provided by the players during the game or in previous games. I thank all the players for what they gave, they did a good job.”
Sharjah, who finished ninth last term, have already matched their 2016/17 league total of 26 points, and Al Anbari says he will now give some youngsters some playing time in the remaining two games.
“We have two matches in the league that will be an opportunity for some players, with a focus on the need to achieve positive results so as not to retreat in the table,” he said.
The Football Generation (TFG), are set to conduct the first edition of The Football Generation Cup, an all UAE Expat Football Sevens Tournament in Dubai, this Friday, April 06th.
The tournament will be under the auspices of The Penalty Football organization who own the Football ground premises at the Scout Mission, Abu Hail in Dubai.
The tournament is based on a knockout format: 16 teams compete from 4 groups with the top two winners of each group progressing to the knockout stages to compete for the Champions Cup, Runner up Cup and Third Place Cup.
The third positioned teams from each group will play against each other in a knockout format for the Plate.
Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to best teams and individuals.
A crowd of around 400 is expected to witness what should be an action packed event.
For more information or to support the event call Paul on +971 55 2134895 or email [email protected]
Families and City fans from across the UAE can come together at the Cityzens FanZone on Saturday as the rivals go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium.
It’s been a memorable campaign for Pep Guardiola’s side with 27 wins from 31 games and another three points at home would see them regain the Premiership title for the first time since 2014.
As well as watching the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva in action, there will be plenty of activities and competitions taking place before the game and at half-time. There will also be refreshments to purchase during the evening.
It’s not the first time that City have hosted FanZones in the capital, with their previous editions proving hugely popular and Saturday’s will be no different, especially against fierce rivals Manchester United.
Entry is free but organisers are encouraging those who wish to attend to register via Cityzens website.
Date: Saturday, April 7
Time: Doors open at 20:00 and kick-off is at 20:30
Location: Zayed Sports City, Football Pitch 15
Parking: Limited parking will be available at Zayed Sports City and will be allocated on first come first served basis.
Contact: For more information, visit cityzens.mancity.com