Treble-chasing Al Ain and Rayan Yaslam look ahead to Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club President's Cup semi-final

Matt Jones - Editor 22:45 24/04/2018
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Rayan Yaslam (No43) is up for Best Emirati Player in the AGL this term.

Despite the fact they were crowned league champions just four days ago, Rayan Yaslam confirmed it is business as usual for Al Ain as they go in search of an unprecedented treble.

The Boss blew Al Nasr away 4-0 on Saturday to capture the Arabian Gulf League title – a maiden league triumph in three years.

But now they have the President’s Cup on their mind as they travel to Abu Dhabi to take on Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club in the semi-final on Wednesday – with the club chasing the second part of what would be a famous treble.

Continental success is also on Al Ain’s mind after they made it through to the knockout rounds of the AFC Champions League, where they will face Qatar’s Al Duhail in the last 16 – the first leg taking place in the Garden City in two weeks’ time.

However, first order of business is the record holders of the President’s Cup – Shabab Al Ahli won 12 titles as Al Ahli – at Al Jazira’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

And rising talent Yaslam said: “We are confident in our ability to qualify for the final with respect to the aspirations of Shabab Al Ahli.

“We will show the best we have to follow the strong performance in the last round and achieve the result which guarantees us transit to the final.”

The Boss reached the last four following a 4-2 win over spirited First Division League side Fujairah – coached by Argentine great Maradona.

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club (Al Ahli) are the record holders of the President's Cup.

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club (Al Ahli) are the record holders of the President’s Cup.

As well as the title triumph and the dream of chasing the treble, Yaslam is also in pursuit of personal glory – having been named as one of three contenders for the Best Emirati Player at next month’s Arabian Gulf League Awards, where he is up against team-mate and Al Ain talisman, Omar Abdulrahman, as well as prolific Al Jazira striker Ali Mabkhout.

But team success is the only thing on the 23-year-old’s mind. “The league championship was a big motivator for us but now our focus is on getting to the President’s Cup final,” he added.

“We recognise that our task will not be easy in the semi-final, but we are confident in our ability to overcome the challenge of Shabab Al Ahli and delight our loyal fans.”

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