Struggling Al Wasl hope fans have kept faith ahead of Arabian Gulf Cup semi-final decider

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Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club and Al Wasl are set to clash again for a place in the Arabian Gulf Cup final.

Coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena is confident the Al Wasl supporters “know very well” he’s trying everything possible to end a wretched run ahead of Thursday’s Arabian Gulf Cup semi-final decider against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.

A season that once held great promise has disintegrated for the Cheetahs thanks to winning just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions. This worrying spell included a goalless draw at Rashid Stadium as they attempt to win a first trophy in eight years.

“We work hard for the team, we always criticise ourselves,” said Arruabarrena.

“The Al Wasl fans know very well that we have been doing our best for a year and a half and that we are not wasting anything on the team. In this period, we will do our utmost to achieve a trophy.”

Opponents Shabab Al Ahli have endured a trying debut campaign after last May’s merger.

In a former guise as Al Ahli, they are the AG Cup’s holders. Current leader Mahdi Ali hoped to spring a surprise.

He said: “Al Wasl is a good team, they have players and a coach at high level coach.

“In cup games, there are always surprises.”

In the day’s other tie, 2015/16 winners Al Wahda hold a commanding 4-2 advantage when they travel to Dibba Al Fujairah.

Despite this, and a 22-point gap in the Arabian Gulf League, boss Laurentiu Reghecampf is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “We have to respect the capabilities of the opposing team. We know that the game will be difficult and we will seek to win.”

Dibba have never won a major trophy and this is the farthest they’ve ever gone in the AG Cup.

Coach Paulo Comelli’s belief in a marquee result remained intact.

He said: “We know that this game represents a special task. Al Wahda is strong.

“I have high confidence in my team. My trust in them is never shaken.”

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